- Toyota Nigeria Takes New Hilux Through All-terrain Test
As competition in the pickup truck segment becomes more intense among automakers and new vehicle dealers, Toyota appears determined to keep its workhorse, the Hilux, on the top of the performance chart.
According to Toyota Nigeria Limited, the new Hilux has been built with a number of new features that will make the vehicle do well on any kind of terrain without compromising the riders’ comfort.
One of the new features of the vehicle that elicited positive response from many Nigerian pickup fans at a recently held Abuja test drive for the new generation Hilux is the new way of engaging the four by four.
Old and prospective customers that attended the exclusive Hilux show were said to have been excited by the superlative performance of the vehicle, particularly the switch system of engaging the four wheel drive instead of the traditional auxiliary gears.
The three-day Abuja event, according to Toyota Nigeria Limited, “was carried out with a clear objective of showcasing the traditional strength of the Hilux and the unique selling points of the model.”
It specifically said the event was designed to show “the motoring public once again the uniqueness of the brand in terms of its ruggedness and durability as the model has evolved over the years as a model to beat in the segment both in product development and brand visibility.”
The TNL said three units of the Hilux were released for the test drive, which was done on different terrains configured as road tracks. This was meant to make the people experience the vehicle under different road conditions prevalent in the country.
For instance, the auto firm said every driver that participated in the Hilux test drive was made to move the vehicle from a smooth road to a rough stony terrain, sandy road, marshy environment, hilly terrain and road with deep potholes.
Toyota Nigeria said it invited representatives of the armed forces, the Nigeria Police Force, fast moving consumer goods industry, construction industry and non-governmental organisations, among other main users of the pickups to be part of the event.
This, it said, was informed by the fact that most of the activities of these companies in Nigeria were usually carried out in difficult and tough terrains.
Specifically, it stated that the first day of the event witnessed an average turnout of invitees with dealers’ representatives in attendance.
“Customer were driven through the configured terrains with the distinctive features of the new generation Hilux expected from a four-wheeler in the Hilux,” the auto firm stated.
The second day of the event was said to have recorded a significant turnout of fleet customers with officers and men of the armed forces attending.
It stated, “Fleet buyers from the Force Headquarters and other corporate bodies were also on the ground as they came early enough to see the demonstration of the vehicle on the configured track. Most of them also took turns to drive the vehicle to confirm its strength and extent of ruggedness.
“Of particular interest was the test drive by the men of the army headquarters who were taken on the drive in batches.”
The third day of the event had officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps who were said to be quite impressed with the performance of the Hilux as it was adjudged to be of very high safety standard.
Representatives of other organisations such as the National Ecological Fund , Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and National Aids Control Agency were around to test the performance of the vehicle under tough road conditions.
All the dealers’ representatives present at the event received product knowledge training from the TNL marketing department on each day of the event.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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