The three-pointed star ended 2016 on a triumphant note by earning the number one position in the premium segment, as Mercedes-Benz, for the first time, sold more than 2,000,000 vehicles in one year worldwide (+11.3 per cent).
With this performance, Mercedes-Benz overtook its German competitors, having sold the most premium cars globally than any of them.
Mercedes-Benz was also the best-selling premium brand in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, the United States and Canada, for the full year 2016.
A delighted chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, remarked: “(The year) 2016 was the most successful year for Mercedes-Benz in the history of the company, and the sixth record year in succession. With new cars with pioneering design that inspire our customers and with particularly strong growth, above all, in China and Europe, we have climbed to the top of the premium segment. And we are accelerating further, with new technologies, products and services.”
The year ended with the highest-ever unit sales in a December, which was also the 46th consecutive record month (190,269 units, +6.8 per cent), and with the best quarter of all time (545,967 units, +10.2 per cent). Europe was the biggest sales region for Mercedes-Benz once again, in 2016. With growth of 12.4 per cent, primarily due to strong sales of the E-Class and the SUVs, best-ever volumes were achieved; nearly 900,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles were sold to customers in Europe in the past 12 months.
The C-class remains the bestselling model with a sale of estates and saloons of approximately 425,000 in 2016 alone. Since 1982, over 9,000,000 models of the C-Class have been sold worldwide with the largest individual market being China and new best-ever unit sales in Japan (+3.5 per cent), South Korea (+25 per cent), Australia (+14.8 per cent), Taiwan (+17.4 per cent) and Malaysia (+8.6 per cent).
Mercedes-AMG grew strongly once again in 2016 and significantly surpassed the record year of 2015 with 44.1 per cent growth. With 99,235 cars delivered, the sports car and high-performance brand from Mercedes-Benz, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, continued along its successful path. This means that Mercedes-AMG unit sales have more than tripled in the past three years. The biggest model offensive in the history of AMG took place in 2016: the product portfolio was expanded with more than 10 new models.
Reacting to the successful leap by Mercedes-Benz in 2016, the Managing Director and CEO of Weststar Associates Limited, Mr. Mirko Plath, described the performance as amazing, hinting that the company, which is the sole general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria, would be launching a number of new products into the local market.
Plath remarked that: “It is an amazing achievement. Mercedes-Benz has set a new global standard. We have an interesting number of product launches in Nigeria this year. First is the E-Class, with special features, as a major step towards autonomous driving, the GLC, a much more refined successor of the GLK, and a new minivan.
“The minivan will serve as a wonderful solution for city logistics and public transport. We are also expecting the arrival of the first-ever premium pickup, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. Finally, we intend to launch some new truck models to support Nigeria’s construction and logistic sector. All in all, the Mercedes-Benz family in Nigeria promises exciting fireworks of new products in 2017.”
FG lauds FRSC’s process of promoting officers
The Federal Government has lauded the process of promoting officers at the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), which it described as credible and in line with global standards. The corps has also been advised to continue the model in subsequent promotions.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, made the remarks recently while decorating some senior officers of the corps who were successful in the last promotional exercise.
According to the FRSC head of media relations and strategy, Bisi Kazeem, the SGF noted that the FRSC’s process of promoting officers that involved physical fitness tests, computer-based tests and oral examinations were conducted with the highest level of integrity and strict adherence to regimental ethics.
The SGF, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Service Office, Alhaji Mohammed Bukar, said the promotion examinations were conducted strictly in accordance with global best practices.
“I congratulate the management of the FRSC for the will and capacity to adhere to the guidelines they set for the promotion examinations in the face of pressure from the various interest groups, which could have undermined the process,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, commended the FRSC for providing an enabling environment for its staff to develop their capacities.
The Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, in his keynote address, disclosed that a total of 588 officers were successful in the recent promotion exercise. The figure is made up of one Deputy Road Marshal, eight Assistant Corps Marshals, 11 Corps Commanders, 75 Deputy Corps Commanders, 125 Assistant Corps Commanders, 12 Chief Route Commanders, 11 Superintendent Route Commanders, 108 Route Commanders and 237 Deputy Route Commanders.
Oyeyemi explained that the exercise was not only thorough in planning but also in execution, adding that it duly reflected the federal character principles of the Federal Government.
“With the newly promoted DCM, each of the six geopolitical zones of the country now has a Deputy Corps Marshal. Other Senior ranks from ACM to DCC have also been carefully distributed among personnel from all the states of the federation,” he said.
Lagos set to begin Alapere dual carriageway project
The Lagos State Government has restated its commitment to solving the traffic logjam in parts of the metropolis by adopting ingenious engineering solutions and making the provision of road infrastructure a priority.
This was disclosed by the acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, during a “meet the community” programme at the Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area headquarters, Lagos, to unveil plans for the construction of the second phase of the Alapere dual carriageway.
The commissioner asserted that the government of Akinwumi Ambode was committed to providing necessary amenities and creating the enabling environment for both residents and investors in the state, and so more roads and other infrastructure would be provided for residents of the area in particular.
Highlighting the major strands of the project, Elegushi explained that the road would be dualised, while the roundabout would be upgraded to give proper links to communities around Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area.
While appealing to residents, community development associations, market men and women and other stakeholders to cooperate with government to ensure the success of the project, Elegushi urged the CDA members to monitor the project and educate others on its importance.
While responding, sole administrator of Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area, Hon. Tunji Ilelaboye, thanked the state government for embarking on the road project, and requesting, however, that more of such initiatives be extended to the area.
The first executive chairman of the LCDA, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, also commended Ambode for the road construction. She also requested that a link to Ikorodu via Agboyi Ketu road be considered as part of the proposed project.