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Mercedes reduces fuel-engine lineup, prepares for e-vehicle revolution

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As Mercedes-Benz steadily launches electric vehicles, it has announced plans to reduce its fossil-fuel package and thin out its lineup in order to make car-buying experience less confusing.

Seven Mercedes models are reportedly on the cutting floor, including coupe and convertible variants of the S-Class, C-Class, E-Class, as well as the CLS coupe and a GT performance model.

Mercedes says the house cleaning should simplify the ordering process for dealers and customers, and streamline the supply chain.

It also expects this to reduce costs for dealers and be able to give customers what they want without waiting on an order that can be second-guessed.

 “Distinction is the mark of luxury, and a car specially ordered by a customer can carry more prestige, and a higher price,” says an Autocar report.

Auto analysts note that as a brand that prides itself on technical innovation, it is only natural that it will be in the first wave of premium electric cars.

But it is said to have been playing catch-up. For instance, BMW pipped it to it with Project i back in 2013, which sired the BMW i3 and i8.

But now Mercedes is hitting back with the EQC, its first fully electric production car and a rival to the Jaguar i-Pace and Audi E-Tron.

It is also following up with the EQA and EQB SUVs, EQS limo, EQV minivan and EQE exec saloon, all preparing to launch in the next 24 months, according to carmagazine.com.

Mercedes-Benz says the redesigned 2021 S-Class flagship sedan will lead the winnowing down by cutting the nine available packages into three “Lines” when it goes on sale this spring.

According to the firm, two models will be available at the launch, distinguished by engine size, as is the German way: A base S 500 4Matic uses a 429-hp 3.0-litre turbo-6 with a mild-hybrid system; an S 580 4Matic has a 469-hp twin-turbo V-8.

Both models come with the mild-hybrid system and all-wheel drive, as denoted by 4Matic. If history presages the future, then AMG models will follow.

Mercedes offers the 2020 S-Class in six models, including S 450, S 450 4Matic, S 560, S560 4Matic, S 560e, and AMG S 63.

This is one of the brand’s simpler lineups, and the sedan could also be had in one of two coupe versions.

The crossover SUV lineup that has proliferated in recent years has also grown more complicated, especially with the designation of “Coupe” to four-door SUVs.

According to the Mercedes-Benz consumer website, the brand sells nine crossover SUVs, six sedans and wagons, seven coupes, six convertibles and roadsters, and a hybrid.

Each of these vehicles is offered in at least four “models,” ranging from all-wheel-drive variants to AMG performance models.

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Niger driver kills three students, injures eight in Suleja

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Three SS1 students of the Government Secondary School Field Base Suleja, Niger State, have been killed by a vehicle that rammed into them on their way from school.
The students were trekking home on the Suleja-Kaduna road on Monday afternoon when the incident occurred.
Three of the students were killed on the spot while eight others sustained injury.
Names of the students that died were given as Abdulhafeez Musa, Kawiyat Sharafadeen and Sunday Paul.
The driver was also said to have been injured and was receiving treatment under police watch in Suleja.
Niger State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, described the incident as painful and tragic.
She said the students were returning from school to their parents when they met with their death in a preventable accident.
To prevent future occurrences, the commissioner stated the state government would construct speed breakers (bumps) on the roads to schools across the state.

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NADDC DG to open auto journalists capacity building workshop Thursday

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Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, will Thursday July 29 in Lagos declare open auto journalist training programme, which is centred around the ‘Migration to Electric Vehicles and Gas-powered Vehicles; Opportunities and Challenges for Nigeria’.
The one-day event is expected to feature technical sessions that will take the auto writers through the current global automotive industry issue of electric and gas as an alternative to petrol and diesel.
Also expected at training and capacity building programme as a guest of honour is Boboye Oyeyemi, corp marshal, Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), according to the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association, the organisers of the event.
It listed in a statement stakeholders supporting the event as the NADDC, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Coscharis Motors, Weststar, CFAO Motors, Autochek Africa, OMAA, Jet Systems, Kojo Motors (Yutong) and the FRSC.
It stated that the one-day training programme would educate participants and indeed Nigerians on what the global shift to electric and gas as an alternative to petrol is all about and the opportunities and challenges for the country.
After the declaration of the programme open and presentations by the NADDC DG, who has been on the driver’s seat of Nigeria’s new thinking towards the use of electric and gas to move vehicles and other automobiles as a cheap alternative to fossil fuel, local auto assemblers of electric vehicles and gas-powered vehicles are expected to give technical presentations of their operations in the country.
Presentations will be made by Stallion Motors, assemblers of the Hyundai Kona electric vehicle in Lagos, OMAA Global, assemblers of the OMAA gas-powered range of buses at Igbo-Ukwu in Anambra State and Jet Systems Limited, assemblers of the JetMover range buses that runs on electric.
It would be recalled that Ford Motors South Africa (FMCSA) in collaboration with Coscharis Motors, its local franchisee, led sponsors of the first and second editions held in 2016 and 2017, while Nissan Motors South Africa (NMSA) followed the following year.

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Contractor begins 72-hour closure of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway section

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• FG dismisses three-month closure reports
By Dada Jackson

Julius Berger Nigeria Plc will today close a section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, expected to last for 72 hours, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr OluKayode Popoola, has said.
He said the closure around the Sagamu Interchange was to enable the contractor to carry out a major construction work – laying of a beam on the flyover.
According to him, there will be diversions of traffic for period (72 hours) from Makun Sagamu overpass (bridge).
He dismissed the earlier reports that the road would be closed for three months for the construction work.
He spoke on the issue to newsmen while on an inspection of the flyover, preparatory to the placing of the beam on the bridge.
Popoola advised motorists to adhere to traffic regulations and slow down as they approached the diversion points to avoid crashes and gridlock.
He said diversion would be for 400 metres before and another 400 metres after the diversion points.
The federal controller said that the ministry was working with all the relevant traffic regulatory agencies such as road safety, police and Ogun State traffic agency to manage traffic on that route.
He assured motorists and members of the public that the Federal Government and the contractor were working so hard to complete the work on expressway by next year.

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