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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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Lagos suspends RTEAN activities, sets up caretaker committee

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The Lagos State Government has suspended all activities of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, who announced the suspension, said the action became imperative following some pockets of violence recorded in Ojo and Lagos Island on Wednesday.

Already, he said a 35-man caretaker committee had been constituted to take over activities of the union.

The caretaker committee is headed by Sulaiman Adeshina Raji, with Bamgbose Oluseyi as deputy chairman and members are Sunday Aransiola, Sulaiman Onabanjo, Azeez Abdulrahman, Isiaka Seriki, Victor Ifemenam, Kareem Babatunde, Amusan Abdulrahman, Teslim Adeshina, Sulaiman Surajudeen and Fatai Rauf.

Others are Sunday Banjo, Segun Omole, Thomas Akinkayode, Taiwo Lasisi, Gbenga Kashimawo, Samson Ajala, Taiwo Daodu, Sule Aliu, Ahmed Musa and Oladipupo Ibrahim. Adewale Adeniyi, Olatunji Durojaiye, Wasiu Olanrewaju, Taofeek Onileola, Yusuf Afolabi, Bode Ogungbade, Alh. A.A. Ussaini, Saliu Usman, Saheed Badru, Kolawole Yusuf, Kayode Thomas, Idowu Oyewole and Salami Babatunde Ope, are to also join them.

Giwa reiterated that suspension became necessary to prevent further acts of violence in the state, stressing that men of the Lagos State Police Command would be deployed in different parts of the state to enforce the action and ensure safety of lives and property.

He said the state government met with some representatives of the RTEAN on Wednesday, following a protest by some members of the union demanding the removal of their national president, adding the government had assured them of a thorough investigation into the allegations levelled against the union’s president with a promise to resolving all lingering issues.

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Ade.Ojo hails Mandilas GM @60, says Toyota family proud of you

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Celebrant GM Mandilas, Kemi Koyejo; Chairman of Toyota Nigeria, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, and his wife, Taiwo Ade.Ojo, at Kemi's 60th birthday in Lagos

The Founder of Toyota Nigeria Limited, TNL, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, has described the General Manager of Mandilas Motors, Ms. Kemi Koyejo as a performer, who takes her job very seriously.

Chief Ade Ojo, who spoke at the MUSON Centre, Lagos during the 60th birthday ceremony of Koyejo as the chairman of the occasion, showered encomiums on the GM for her contributions towards driving Toyota brand sale and development in Nigeria.

He said, “Olukemi is a performer, a wonderful lady, who takes her job very seriously. She is “Lady Toyota”. She never misbehaves and I want to pray that God should continue to bless you the more.”

Chief Ade Ojo, who recalled that Kemi’s father was his senior in high school, expressed no surprise at  Kemi’s sterling performance and behaviour, given her family background.

“The Toyota family in Nigeria is very proud of you and God will continue to be with you,” he prayed.

The 84-year-old business mogul attended the event with his wife, and senior management staff of Toyota Nigeria Limited including the Managing Director, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo.

Reiterating Chief Ade Ojo’s commendation on the Mandilas General Manager, the Managing Director of Toyota, Mr. Kunle Adeojo, also said that the Mandilas General Manager is very hard-working and has brought many ideas that have led to the growth of the Toyota brand in Nigeria.

He also used the occasion to announce that the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers has conferred on him a Fellow of the institute.

A trained engineer, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo, has been at the helm of affairs at TNL and has taken the company to greater heights despite the challenges in the Nigeria’s auto sector.

-Vanguard

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Lamborghini pushes out final Aventador, Ultimae, ends V12 supercar

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Supercar manufacturer, Lamborghini, has announced the production of the last Aventador. You can call it Avantador’s last dance. The final Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae was rolled off the production line in Sant’Agata, Italy, and kissing goodbye to V12-powered supercar that shaped an era. The Lamborghini V12 will be hybridised going forward.

This Ultimae Roadster marks the 11,465th Aventador to reach customers worldwide. First launched in 2011, the Aventador is not exactly modern, but when it debuted, it was described by CEO Stephan Winkelmann as “a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology,” with “performance that is simply overwhelming.”

A plug-in hybrid replacement is expected to be revealed later this year, having been spied testing.

Lamborghini made sure the final model was the most powerful, with the 6.5-litre unit producing 10bhp more than in the previous range-topping Aventador, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, sending 769bhp (780PS, hence the name) to both axles. The Aventador-based Essenza SCV12 produces 819bhp but is limited to track use.

The Ultimae’s 531lb ft torque peak matches the SVJ’s, with which it shares its power- to-weight ratio. But with a 0-62mph time of just 2.8sec and a top speed of 221mph, the Ultimae is the fastest road-going Aventador.

The 350 coupés and 250 roadsters – each sold with a numbered plaque – were offered in a range of unique colour schemes, including a new grey-on-grey option with contrasting red trim elements, while the roadster could be specified with an exposed carbonfibre roof panel. It was also subtly marked out from other Aventadors by way of a unique styling package that “took the best components” of the S and SVJ.

The Aventador’s plug-in hybrid replacement will serve as a bridge to pure-electric Lamborghini models in the future.

This electrified future will see the Hurácan and Lamborghini Urus also go down the same route, and an all-electric 2+2 introduced in the second half of the decade.

Importantly, however, while its replacement will use an electrified drivetrain, it will take the bulk of its power from a large-capacity V12, in line with company boss Stephan Winkelmann’s commitment to the emotional value of its supercars.

He told Autocar last year that there is “a lot of emotion attached” to the 12-cylinder engine, which he is particularly aware of, having been involved in the launch of the Aventador in his first stint as the boss of Lamborghini in 2011.

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