By Daniel Ekugo
At the recently concluded Nigerian Auto Journalist Awards 2018, Toyota Nigeria Limited, authorised dealers of all Toyota brands in Nigeria, carted home three prestigious awards for Toyota. For auto industry watchers, the reasons are not far-fetched.
At the awards, and repeatedly so too, Toyota has demonstrated its primacy of people over processes, demonstrating that what distinguishes it from other automakers has more to do with how its people think and less with products and processes.
Toyota executives are obsessed with creating value and quality for the customers globally. And in recent times, Toyota Nigeria Limited has shored up its chest of garages with re-jigged brands of Toyota, aiming for the zenith at the beginning of the New Year.
At the beginning of the year under review, the Lexus brand, Venza and Avalon, were in contention with other Toyota brands in Nigeria, fighting hard for a sizable chunk of the market share.
Regrettably, the impact of the trio of Lexus, Venza and Avalon, all Toyota siblings, was feeble compared to the recent onslaught by Toyota in Nigeria. Toyota was clinical in unleashing its re-jigged brands to counter the strategy of the invading trio and in the process creating a revolution in the Nigerian automotive industry.
With innovation, clear thinking, a listening ear and uncommon vision, the company was able stay ahead of the curve, coming up with a generational shift in the choice of elegant and stylish brand of vehicles to meet the yearnings and aspirations of their teeming customers.
Another plus for the company is its organisational culture which ensures that its employees operate in a system where they constantly grapple with challenges and problems and consistently innovate with solutions.
Toyota Nigeria is all about team work, and the company has carefully crafted an aura for the legendary brand even in a difficult marketing year, delivery new looks to the Corolla, Yaris, RAV4, Fortuner; Hilux and the Coaster ahead of 2019 and beyond.
Singled out for special mention is the RAV4 which is disrupting the segment it created – delivering more sport and utility while enhancing the agile handling, everyday comfort and exemplary fuel efficiency that made RAV4 the segment leader it now is All told, the RAV4 is designed to tackle urban, suburban and great outdoor adventures with equal aplomb. The look is tougher and there is greater capability with a new type of all-wheeled drive, yet the ride is smoother and quieter with new comfort touches inside.
For the all-new Toyota RAV4, designers kept in mind design elements of “Adventure” and “Refined” to allow owners get up and go in their RAV4, no matter the time or place. An emphasis was placed on maximizing the presence of a small SUV while maintaining high levels of finesse inside and out.
The Yaris offers an exceptional blend of efficiency, fun, comfort and safety, all at a reasonable price. Is this combination too much to ask of an entry subcompact vehicle? The new Yaris answers with a resounding, “No!” Safety is a priority on every Toyota, and that’s why all Yaris sedans come standard with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. The Yaris features a high-compression 1.5-liter engine that boasts up to 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway.
The sporty Yaris is a blast to drive, thanks in large part to the engine and transmission offerings. The 1.5litre DOHC four-cylinder engine pumps out 106 horsepower and 103lb ft of torque for plenty of pep to power onto highway ramps and seamlessly navigate workday traffic.
The new Toyota Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.
“With an exhilarating design, refined interior, stirring driving performance, cutting edge safety, technology and class leading fuel efficiency, the all new Camry retains its excellent value while raising its level of fun and excitement to new heights,” said Bill Fay, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations.
“It is quite simply the best Camry ever and the benchmark in the mid-size sedan segment.”
The Landcruiser, which is available in more than 190 countries worldwide, the most of all existing Toyota models, with its unrivalled off-road abilities, has earned itself a rock solid reputation as one of the world’s toughest and most reliable 4x4s; making it the segment sales leader.
Now to the cash cow of Toyota Nigeria Limited – the Corolla. With more than 46 million Toyota Corollas sold globally since its introduction in 1966, it would be difficult to find a driver who did not recognize the name. Everyone, it seems, has a Corolla story. Many though are going to be doing double takes when they see the reimagined and reconfigured Toyota Corolla. And that is exactly the point.
The Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), transforms both Corolla styles into drivers’ delights while also bolstering the model’s renowned value and reliability. Both draw from the same DNA and share powertrains. It is no surprise then, that the Corolla sedan dramatically elevates this models’ focus on comfort and refinement while also infusing it with the Corolla feisty personality.
The Toyota Corolla sedan’s bold new look is a perfect reflection of the bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation that has taken place.
The TNGA platform means an available engine that produces more power than its predecessor yet delivers better fuel efficiency. TNGA imbues the Corolla sedan with greater agility which comes with its smoothest, quietest ride. TNGA also means an elevated feeling of quality in every surface, switch and control the driver sees and touches. And critically, TNGA delivers on Toyota’s commitment to driver and passenger safety with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety systems – standard on every Corolla sedan model.
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