- Ford Enlivens Nigeria’s Auto Market With New Edge
Just before the end of a recession year in Nigeria, characterised by poor sales and scarce new car launches, Coscharis Motors has unveiled the 2016 edition of Ford Edge, which comes loaded with sophisticated technologies including active noise control and pre-collision assist/pedestrian detection.
The event, which was held in Lagos, was witnessed by officials of the Ford Middle East and African Region, led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jacques Brent.
The President, Coscharis Group, Cosmas Maduka, says the introduction of the new Ford Edge to the Nigerian market is not to allow the gloomy recession deny the fans the opportunity of having the latest Ford masterpiece in their garages.
According to Maduka, the Edge comes in three variants – SE, SEL and Limited, all of which have striking designs and assert their presence on the road, either in motion or in parking position.
He says the new Ford Edge is an upscale sport utility vehicle that delivers premium levels of comfort, sophisticated driver assistance features and class-leading driving dynamics, adding that its Ford Adaptive Steering automatically adjusts the steering ratio according to speed to optimise manoeuvrability and precision.
Ford, in a statement on the new Edge, quotes its Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Customer Services Division for sub-Saharan Africa, Rob Johnston, as saying, “The spacious and high-tech Ford Edge responds to our customers’ demands for a premium Ford SUV.
“Offering cutting-edge style with commanding presence and high specification including Ford Intelligent All Wheel Drive, the Edge makes advanced technologies and premium quality more accessible to the growing numbers of SUV customers around the world, and in Africa.”
Ford also says the vehicle sets new standards in its class for interior space, featuring high quality materials and offering comfort with convenience features including heated as well as cooled front seats and a panoramic roof on the high-spec models.
It has luxurious seating options, depending on model derivative, which include front and rear heated leather seats that enhance comfort in cold weather, and cooled front seats that offer relief to occupants on hot days by directing cold air from the climate system through perforations in the seat leather.
Ford says, “Customers who welcome the sunshine into their cars will enjoy Edge’s expansive panoramic glass roof on the SEL, Titanium and Sport models, with two large glass panels that add to the spacious, open and airy feel of the interior.”
Luggage capacity of 1,847 litres with the rear seats folded is among the largest in the segment, and additional stowage areas are located around the wheel arches, according to the automaker.
Other striking features
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is unique to the car and it applies braking if a collision with another vehicle ahead is imminent, and is designed to detect people in or near the road ahead and automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected.
Its adaptive LED headlamp technology employs Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System to adjust the headlight beam angle to match the driving environment; while the Glare-Free High-beam technology detects vehicles ahead, both oncoming and those travelling in the same direction, and blocks out light that could dazzle from the adaptive LED headlamp technology while retaining maximum illumination for other areas.
The all-new Edge sensor technologies also make parking easier with its Perpendicular Parking that can detect and reverse the car hands-free into spaces alongside other cars in the same way that Active Park Assist helps drivers to parallel park.
The new Ford Edge comes with the advanced 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that uses a twin-scroll turbocharger to produce 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Ford Edge uses the latest powertrain technologies to deliver optimised fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
There is the option of 3.5-litre Ti-VCT V6 engine with 280hp and 250 lb.-ft peak outputs.
Its all Edge derivatives are mated to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, with the choice of front-wheel drive or Ford’s Intelligent All Wheel Drive system on the 2.0 EcoBoost and 3.5 V6 versions.
Some of its safety features are the Blind Spot Information System; Traffic Sign Recognition; Lane Keeping Alert; Lane Keeping Aid and Driver Alert.
A fully configurable 3D digital instrument cluster allows drivers to personalise the information displays to their own preferences, while maintaining a simple, elegant appearance, Ford adds.
“The Ford Edge is the first Ford vehicle designed to meet the new 2016 Euro NCAP five-star occupant and pedestrian protection standards.”
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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