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•Massilia banks on price advantage, fuel economy
Stories by Moses Akaigwe ( 08072100049 )
Massilia Motors Limited, a joint venture between CFAO Motors and Chanrai, has strengthened its vehicle line-up with the launch of the all-new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, which is making its debut in Nigeria following a long wait for suitable specs for the local market.
The new-generation mid-size SUV looks tastefully robust: a stylish and comfortable off-road vehicle boasting a turning radius of 5.6; it would have been introduced into the Nigerian market earlier, but for the unavailability of the petrol engine version.
Interestingly, the Pajero Sport unveiled to both journalists and customers by Massilia at a ceremony in Victoria Island, Lagos, recently is the first full redesign of the mid-size SUV in seven years.
Massilia’s deputy managing director, Mr. Kunle Jaiyesinmi, and the general manager, sales and marketing, Navin Chander, who introduced the car to the press at the event, explained that it is built on the L200 pick-up platform, and is driving in as a one-model, full option offering.
Paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission (first for a Mitsubishi model), is a 3L Pajero Sport GLS powertrain that returns 17 per cent improvement in fuel economy over its predecessor and lower carbondioxide emission.
The Pajero Sport is imbued with comprehensive, active and passive safety features as a vehicle in its class should be, with the RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body technology as one of the highpoints.
Also standing out is the ETACS (Electronic Timing and Alarm Control System), which is Mitsubishi’s unique system that controls all of the vehicle’s electrical components, including the headlights, door mirrors, windshield wipers, and so on. It provides peace of mind and convenience and supports driving by controlling all of the vehicle’s equipment precisely in a variety of situations.
Inheriting the best of the Mitsubishi DNA, the redesigned model brings with it a refined, high-quality exterior featuring the Mitsubishi Dynamic shield face seen on recent Mitsubishi Motors concept cars. The seven-seater SUV uses both sporty and dynamic elements which set it apart from conventional SUVs.
In addition, handling stability, ride and quietness have all been improved through optimisation of the suspension and improvements on the body mounts.
Surrounded by solid craftsmanship, the interior uses a high console proportion dashboard, as befits a larger SUV, while dynamically styled silver-finish ornamentation and sculpted seats add to its luxurious feel.
The Deputy Managing Director said at launch: ‘’At Massilia Motors, we are committed to satisfying our customers that is why we have created tailored services for our fleet owners and organised activities such as the Mitsubishi free check-up week where existing Mitsubishi customers were invited for free diagnosis and discounted spare parts. ‘’
This was echoed by Chander who added, “if you buy a vehicle from us, you are sure it will be well taken care of by our after-sales network”.
The duo explained that launching Pajero Sport at a time the sharp drop in patronage has discouraged many auto firms from introducing new products, is an expression of Massilia’s belief that the lull in the market would soon give way to improved sales.
“We are optimistic that the Nigerian economy is getting out of recession”, Jaiyesinmi stated, predicting that things would start looking up in the market by the third quarter.
Moreover, Massilia is emboldened by the price tag of about N25 million which Pajero Sport is wearing – a competitive edge over its peers in the market. The mid-size offering is daring products like Toyota Fotuner and Ford Everest, among others.
Other members of the Massilia team at the launch were the General Manger Finance, Mr. Sunil Mohta and the Marketing Manager, Funmi Abiola.
The Pajero Sport launch took off with a press conference followed by a customer’s fleet forum and test ride session at the Landmark Towers waterfront.