Alliance Autos, Sun Motors, in a rare partnership introduce the Nissan Almera, a ‘B’ segment sedan
It is not a particularly common occurrence in the country’s automobile circle to find two different auto franchises coming together to deliver the same product in the same market. It was, therefore, instructive when recently, Alliance Autos and Sun Motors joined forces to introduce into the Nigerian market the Nissan Almera, a ‘B’ segment sedan. The launch of the car last week preceded a test drive by motoring journalists, who endorsed the effort of the auto franchises.
Ian Middleton, managing director, Alliance Autos, disclosed that the Almera is an all-new car, complete with modern technology and construction techniques targeted at delivering maximum efficiency, a superior ride quality and durability, with a well sculpted exterior. According to him, the Almera is a smart, lean, focused model, intended to secure an impressive market share in the growing ‘B’ segment. This will be achieved not just by its comfortable driving experience, reliability and affordability, but its features, it is a vehicle that belongs to the ‘B’ segment, but equipped with the facilities found in a ‘C’ segment car.
Gaurav Kaul, general manager, commercial, Alliance Autos, explained that the new Almera is entering the Nigerian market with just one engine option, made up of a modern 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, featuring dual injection producing 73 kilowatts, kw, and 134 Newton metres, Nm, of power; and weighs 1,042 kilogramme, kg. Transmission options of the car are between five-speed manual and a new four-speed automatic. The Almera has a 1.5-litre engine with the power of a 1.8-litre engine. Said Kaul: “the combination of a compact, free-revving engine, low weight, and sculpted aerodynamics combine into a sedan with exceptional eco credentials, while also helping to keep the cost of purchasing and maintenance down.”
The new Almera is built to exceed modern global safety regulations. It has features like driver and passenger airbags, anti-lock braking system, ABS, and electronic brake force distribution, EBD, which manages braking for the shortest stopping distance while maintaining full control in an emergency situation; seatbelts forh both front and rear feature pre-tensioning with load-limiters to keep passengers safe and mitigate the harm transmitted in an accident. The car also has new levels of strength and rigidity, ensuring that occupants are able to walk away from any unfortunate accident.
Pankaj Arora, general manager, Sun Motors, while giving reasons for the development and entry of the car observed that in 2012, the taste and expectations of the new car buyer in African markets has shifted radically from traditional patterns, explaining that the rapid economic growth is now being driven by the flourishing middle-class and with levels of growth continuing to outstrip embattled developed markets, such that addressing the specific needs of this market has become critical for global players wishing to participate in this promising environment. “Almera is smart and stylish; it delivers quality, style and value for money to the consumer. Almera is a new world of comfort, sophisticated, with crispy sporty rear and provides ample space and promises a level of refinement. One experiences a comfortable and roomy drive.” The space in the car creates a roomy and hospitable cabin environment, while rear seat passengers enjoy ample knee-room and a centre armrest with dedicated cup holders.
During the test drive that spanned about d 114 kilometres, the Almera did not disappoint. The test drive started from the dealership’s showroom in Victoria Island, Lagos, ran through Eleko Beach, outskirt of Lagos, and terminated at the dealerships’ workshop.
The car is regarded as one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class, built for the Nigerian road. The company targets selling not less than 3,000 units yearly, believing that the Almera has a crucial role to play in the country.
Starting price is N2.5 million.