• Commiserates with Attahiru family, others
The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has expressed worry over the pressure being exerted on the nation’s roads as the major mode of transportation and called for accelerated adoption of multi-modal system towards addressing challenges facing the sector.
He also expressed sadness over the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash that occurred at the Kaduna airport on Friday, May 21, 2021 and commiserated with his family and other victims’.
Oyeyemi, who decried the non-implementation of the National Transport Policy, 29 years after it was drafted, spoke “Improving Nigeria Transportation Systems: The Way Forward” at the 8th Nigeria Annual Transport Lecture held recently at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.
He stressed the need for improvement of the inter-modal transport system.
The FRSC boss warned that the road system was dominant over other modes, taking about 95 per cent.
This, he said, had serious road safety concerns in the form of traffic crashes and infrastructure decay.
Noting that road crashes have increased, the Corps Marshal said, “The pressure is too much on the road. Fatality has been on the high. We used to have an average of 100 lives lost on the roads weekly. Speed is a major aspect we need to address.”
The FRSC boss maintained that utilising other modes of transport such as air, water, pipeline and rail would ease gridlock on the road and had the potential to boost the economy from travel tourism perspective.
According to him, there has not been a balanced development of the country’s transportation system, pointing out that increase in road construction activities and some developmental challenges being experienced by the other sectors of transportation, the movement of people, goods and services is dominated by road transport.
He said, “Government should expand and upgrade existing air travel infrastructures so as to boost confidence in the industry with respect to air safety; encourage more investments to bring about healthy competition such that more people can opt for the mode as against the road especially for long-distance travel. This will largely reduce ‘fatigue’ induced and tyre related crashes on the road.”
According to him, greater investments as a follow up of the MoU between NIWA, NEXIM and Sealink Promotional Co. Ltd should be activated.
He also canvassed for the dredging of identified potential waterways in the country to improve safety and enhance navigation amongst others.
Meanwhile, the FRSC corps marshal has described as unfortunate the plane crash that claimed the life of COAS Attahiru and 10 other military personnel, adding that it is a great loss to the nation at this critical period when the Armed Forces is committed to winning the war against insurgency.
A statement by the Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, quoted Corps Marshal Oyeyemi as condoling with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Armed Forces, families and friends of the late Chief of Army Staff and other military officers and crew, who died in the air crash and enjoined all to take solace in the fact that Attahiru lived an exemplary and patriotic life worthy of emulation.
He described the late COAS “as a disciplined, forthright, committed and professional military officer who was unwavering in fighting and winning the war not only against insurgency and returning peace to the nation, but partnering with the FRSC to ensure safer road environment for all road users.
He prayed for the repose of the departed souls and to grant their loved ones and the nation the fortitude to bear the great loss.
Kia partners Fixit45 for genuine auto parts, after-sale services
Kia Nigeria has announced its partnership with Fixit45 to offer customers genuine spare parts and exceptional after-sale service.
It says the commitment to provide the very best after-sale service delivery and customer experience to thousands of customers nationwide is at the core of this partnership, adding that both companies are raising the bar in offering Kia Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) auto parts, quality repairs, and best-in-class service delivery to provide amazing value-added service to all Kia customers.
It said, in a statement, “The shifting consumer interests and the need to meet their expectations with exceptional service delivery has propelled Kia Nigeria to extend its reach by signing a new partnership agreement with Fixit45 to continue to offer genuine spare parts and the delivery of cutting-edge services in the country.
“The partnership is aimed at keeping pace with consumers’ evolving wants and needs in order to remain competitive.
It said the vision of Kia Nigeria had been to bring world-class facilities closer to customers and offer quality service delivery exceeding customers’ expectations.
The statement quoted the Chief Operating Officer, Kia Nigeria, Sanjay Tatpati, as saying, “Our goal is to make quality Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) auto parts accessible and affordable to our teeming customers to ensure they have an exceptional ownership experience with our Kia vehicles.
“Hence, the partnership with Fixit45 is to further expand Kia’s market reach and ease of access to teeming customers in the country.
“Customer-centricity is at the epicentre of everything we do at Kia and our partnership with Fixit45 is aimed at giving optimum value to customers to ensure that they have access to the value-oriented service and genuine spare parts.”
Speaking on the partnership, Marketing Manager, Kia Nigeria, Olawale Jimoh, said, “This joint venture with Fixit45 is an important step in our expansion plans for the Nigerian market. Finding the right partners to work with, in satisfying our customers is very vital to us. We are delighted to work with the experienced team of Fixit45 and are confident that our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this relationship.”
The CEO and Co-Founder, Fixit45, Justus Obaoye, also said, “At Fixit45, we are firm believers in the power of mobility to not only enable socio-economic development and inspire ideas but also facilitate value-creating interactions that make society better. Convenience and curating a service experience that is best-in-class is what we are all about.
“This partnership is a testament to our collaborating ethos and our passion to move the automotive aftermarket industry forward.
“We are excited to have found a synergistic partner in Kia as we continue to drive and deliver quality services and automotive products to end-users. We share the same ideals of providing solutions that help people and organisations move and we are excited at the transformative opportunities that this relationship will produce.”
Co-founder & CTO, Fixit45, Abdulazeez Ogunjobi, said, “Technology helps us to disrupt a segment that has largely been based on brick-and-mortar operations.
“Our robust end-to-end ecosystem platform empowers us to cater to a diverse range of needs in the aftermarket industry. We are looking to drive a significant shift and help more vendors and customers to come online to enjoy convenience, quality, and affordable products and services via this partnership with Kia Nigeria.”
Kia, founded in 1944 in Korea, is said to have a presence in more than 190 markets and manufacturing facilities in six countries.
It has sold over 100,000 units in Nigeria since entering the country in 2008.
The statement added that Fixit45 which entered the market in July 2021 had developed Xparts, an e-commerce and search platform for auto parts sourcing and delivery.
Second multi-million-dollar boat tail Rolls-Royce coming in May
For lovers of expensive super luxury brand, Rolls-Royce, the second Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, a multi-million-dollar modified creation, has been confirmed for the first half of this year,.
Although the automaker has given other details including cost, it is obviously expected to be over $28 million dollars, the amount paid for the first ever-built boat tail RR in 2021.
Last year, Rolls-Royce hosted a return to form by introducing the Boat Tail – a bespoke creation, hand-built by the company’s Coachbuilding Department. This is considered the most expensive new car ever made, commissioned for an unnamed wealthy client for $28 million.
Only three examples will ever be made and now, the British marque has announced the arrival of the second one.
According to Rolls-Royce, the second Boat Tail will make its public debut at the 2022 Villa d’Este.
The event on the banks of Lake Como in Italy is scheduled to take place from May 20-22, 2022.
Multiple sources including Automotive News say no detail disclosed about the second Boat Tail but it is expected to be different from the first one.
As the Boat Tail is bespoke, its bodywork and interior are designed and produced according to the exact specifications of the clients.
Despite being custom-made, the second Boat Tail should retain its 19 feet of length, along with the wrap-around windshield.
Automotive News reports that the extended rear end will be present in the second version, as well as the wood veneers on the “aft deck.”
The first Boat Tail comes with two-tone blue leather that covers the steering wheel and seats. There are wood veneers on the dashboard as well, which match the one found at the back.
It adds, “We’re expecting a similar exquisite execution on the second version, if not better.
Powertrain details weren’t announced, but it’s safe to say that it’s powered by the same twin-turbo 6.7-liter V12 as the rest of the RR range.
“This mill makes up to 563 horsepower (420 kilowatts) in the Cullinan and Phantom, while the Black Badge models have it churning out up to 600 hp (447 kW).”
Toyota breaks 90-year record, dethrones GM as US sales leader
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation made history by outselling General Motors Company in the United States in 2021, marking the first time the latter has not led US auto sales for a full year since 1931.
The latest report by Reuters said Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles in the United States in 2021, compared with 2.218 million for General Motors, the automakers said on Tuesday.
GM’s US sales were down 13% for 2021 – and 43% in the fourth quarter – while Toyota was up 10% for the year.
GM last had lower sales in 2010 at 2.202 million.
For all of 2020, GM’s US sales totaled 2.55 million, compared with Toyota’s 2.11 million and Ford Motor Co’s 2.04 million.
Last year was marred by a shortage of semiconductors used heavily in vehicles, forcing automakers to focus on their most profitable models.
GM said on Tuesday it expected the US economic growth would boost the total light-duty vehicle industry sales from around 15 million in 2021 to around 16 million in 2022.
GM has been the largest seller of vehicles in the United States since 1931, when it surpassed Ford, according to data from industry publication, Automotive News.
Senior Vice President Jack Hollis said the automaker is “grateful” for its loyal customers, but “being No. 1 is never a focus or priority.”
The Japanese automaker does not see it as sustainable that it can retain its U.S. sales lead and had no plans to use the 2021 accomplishment in any kind of advertising, he added. Toyota had been credited by analysts for weathering the chip shortage better than other automakers.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said the Detroit automaker had a very strong sales year in the United States in full-size SUVs and pickup trucks as it had focused on profitability, and as the supply of semiconductors improved, so would sales.
“I wouldn’t rush out if I were (Toyota), and get a ‘We’re No. 1’ tattoo,” he said.
GM under Chief Executive Mary Barra also emphasized profitability over volume, abandoning such money-losing markets as Europe and Russia.
For the entire industry, sales finished 2021 at just under 15 million vehicles, according to Wards Intelligence, with the annual sales rate in the month of December finishing at 12.44 million. The full-year number was well below the five-year average of 17.3 million from 2015-2019.
IHS Markit forecasts U.S. sales are expected to reach nearly 15.5 million in 2022.
Toyota sees industry sales jumping to 16.5 million this year, with demand even higher if the industry can boost production further, with its own sales topping 2.4 million.
“If you would have asked me to predict how the year was going to go at the beginning of (last) January, I would have gotten it all wrong because this whole microchip shortage just came out of left field and it wreaked a lot of havoc,” Hyundai Motor America (005380.KS) sales chief Randy Parker said in an interview. “But at the same time, it sharpened our skill set.”
“I’m very bullish on 2022,” he added. Hyundai’s U.S. sales last year rose 19% to more than 738,000 vehicles, including a record number on the retail side.
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