Locally-assembled Emgrand 7, Geely X7 join low-end competition
Mikano Motors, a subsidiary of Mikano International Limited and exclusive partner of Geely Automotive in Nigeria, has test-driven the locally-assembled Emigrand 7 (Sedan) and Geely X7 Sports (SUV) at its new state-of-the-art assembly plant located at Karameh City, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
The unveiling of the low-end cars is expected to raise the competition and reduce the importation of second-hand cars, which have raised environmental concerns in recent years. New car ownership is extremely low in Nigeria as over 90 per cent of automobiles on the roads are imported from America and Europe second-hand.
Speaking after the test drive, Sales Manager, Mikano Motors, Everistus Eze said the company chose to assemble the cars locally as part of the company’s efforts to boost the economy and create jobs.
He said: “Although Mikano has always been known as a service provider in many aspects, including Power, Steel and Medical, our decision to invest in the automotive sector was motivated by our belief that Nigeria deserves a better transportation experience rather than being a dumping area for second-hand cars with no history, no warranty and no spare parts.
“Therefore, we chose to assemble and ultimately manufacture a top-quality automotive brand to create jobs for the youths, help stimulate the nation’s economy and further support Nigerian families with the most comfortable and affordable means of transportation.”
Speaking on the low purchasing power of Nigerians in buying new vehicles, he said: “We have incorporated high-end quality with affordability.
“We know the challenge of used cars being dumped in Nigeria, as bringing them to the country is expensive hence we allow customers to fix the price. With an offer from now till February 14 for customers to fix the price, ours is to penetrate the automotive market. We are working on Return on Investment payment and also a financing scheme that will suit customers and provide affordability,” he said.
Aside from being a Chinese automotive brand that recorded top scores in European Car Assessment Programme (EuroNcap), Geely vehicles, via its acquisition of top European brands, including Volvo and Lotus, are produced in line with European standards.
According to him, the current Geely auto brand is entirely different from the former Geely Cars Nigerians used to know.
“This current Geely auto brand,” he pointed out, “is a meeting point for the latest automobile technology and modern science.”
Mikano’s plan for locally assembled Geely automobiles started over two years ago. To ensure that its customers drive with peace of mind, the company has covered the entire landscape of Nigeria with various after-sale service centres.
He said: “We have 3s (Showroom, service centre and Spare parts) and 2s(Showroom and service centre) locations all over Nigeria. The centres are equipped with modern tools to ensure effective after-sales services to our customers.
“Through our appointed dealership across the country, Geely automobile brand’s spare parts are now available nationwide. While we are still appointing more dealers to ensure that our parts are available to every location in Nigeria, we are making servicing parts available via various accredited channels to avoid the incident of fake parts.”
Powered by 1.5-litre engine, the locally assembled Geely EC7 Sedan comes with a load of safety features, some of which are Seatbelt reminder, Overspeeding alarm device, an anti-theft alarm device, hand brake unreleased reminder, (Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), reversing visual system, Door child safety lock, Collision safety fuel cut system, Speed-sensitive automatic door locking system, Explosion-proof leak-proof plastic fuel tank, etc
More than that, the car is equipped with cruise control, remote central locking, Keyless entry-driver side, head restraints, air conditioning system and infotainment.
Also being assembled in Nigeria, the Geely X7, a crossover, is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.4 litre engine, which puts out 150bhp at 5,300rpm and some 225Nm (Newton Meters)
Equipped with airbags, occupants of the car are also protected with ISOFIX child seat anchorage points, door child safety lock, TPMS(Tire Pressure Monitoring System), explosion-proof leak-proof plastic fuel tank, speed-sensitive automatic door locking system, anti-pinch function(all 4 windows) and air filtration purification device.
The Geely X7 is also equipped with an internal light delay function, panoramic sunroof, cruise control, remote central locking, keyless entry, mobile mapping central screen, Bluetooth hands-free device, LCD trim computer, multi-function steering wheel (with entertainment +cruise switch), Anti-theft protection, electronic control and alarm system, active safety functions and reversing radar system.
Over the past 10 years, Geely has invested more than $14 billion in research and development (R&D), and plans to invest more in the next five years, in a commitment to providing the highest level of modern technologies in the industry.
Specifically, Geely Holdings, Daimler AG of Mercedes Benz and other Geely family brands have launched plans to collaborate on developing highly effective powertrain systems for next-generation hybrid vehicle applications.