New Mitsubishi Pajero Sports has gone on sale in Nigeria; following its virtual unveil by Massilia Motors, Nigeria’s sole distributor of Mitsubishi brand.
The 2020 model, which was launched on Friday, is the 4th generation of the Pajero, first of which was rolled out in 1996.
Answering questions at the launch, the Managing Director/Country Delegate CFAO Nigeria, Thomas Pelletier, who said the virtual launch was necessitated by the Corona Virus ravaging the world, described the new Pajero Sports as a rugged and comfortable vehicle.
“It is a proper 4×4,” he stated, adding, “ I had the opportunity to experience it here during the raining season in particular. Beside the leather seats and all the luxury features, it comes with very comfortable suspensions, very powerful engine, V6 engine, which sends powers to the wheel through an 8-speed automatic gear box.
“In short, I will say the Pajero Sports is rugged and smooth.”
Speaking about the impact of COVID-19 on auto business in Nigeria, the CFAO boss lamented that, majority of automobile organizations in Nigeria have had to reduce their investments, due to plummet of automobile demand in Nigeria .
“As you know,” he pointed out, “CFAO has been in Nigeria for 117 years. So we know that Nigeria is made up of ups and downs. So we are ready to take the heats.”
However, according to him, despite the difficult operating environment, which has been made worse by COVID-19, Masillia Motors decided not to retrench any of its staff.
“Instead,” he stated further, “what we do is to try as much as we can to comply with all the best practices in terms of following health protocols to reduce the spread of the pandemic, thereby protecting our staff as well as customers.
On what his company has put in place to attract customers as well retain existing ones, Pelletier claimed Masilla Motors offers the lowest cost of ownership in Nigeria.
“For instance,” he explained, “we just launched a maintenance package at N12,500 per month. What we try to offer at CFAO Masilla is automobile experience, meaning wherever you go in the world, you get the same quality of product and services. We offer the same quality of service that you get anywhere in the world. We try to stick to manufacturer’s guideline, not only in terms of customer care, but also in terms of service quality. We do that with qualified technicians that are trained by the manufacturer. So for us, service quality is our top priority. “
Designed with chrome door handles, side turn lamp, electric adjustable mirrors, and footboard side step, the 2020 Pajero Sports is made safe for owners and occupants, as it comes with Electric Tailgate, which via sensors, enable a shopper to put then in the boot without having to open or close the car’s tail gate with a key. Just wave your foot, it senses your presence and the tail gate opens. You do same and the tail gate closes.
The car is powered by 6cylinder/inline, multipoint injection petrol engine, armed with 220 horse power working at 6000 rpm (Revolution Per Minute) with a maximum torque of 285/4000Nm.
And in terms of safety, the 2020 Pajero now on sale in Nigeria comes with driver, side, curtain and passenger airbags as well as anti-theft alarm, ABS, Child lock, Cruise control, Downhill assist control, Electronic Brakeforce distribution (EBD), full LED headlamps, Hill Assist Control, Immobilizer, Rain sensor and seatbelt warming.
Inside, the car is seven-seater. But to increase luggage space, two rear seats can be folded, leaving five. More than that, it comes with Day/night automatic rear view mirror, as well as SDA(Smartphone Display Audio), Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB, Bluetooth and MirrorLink
Answering questions, while embarking on virtual inspection, General Manager, sales, Tunji Itiola, described the 2020 Pajero as “a vehicle that is going to elevate you to the next level, which is in line with Mitsubishi’s tagline, ‘Drive Your Ambition’”
On what the company did to keep its staff safe during COVID, the Mr. Itiola said before the lock down, his company divided workers to smaller units so that they alternated duties, a pattern he claimed Lagos state adopted about a week afterwards.
“So we are thinking faster than these guys (Lagos state),” he explained. “ Also during the lockdown, we sent emails, SMS and phone calls to our key customers, encouraging them to stay safe, stay strong and abide by the guideline of NCDC so that everybody can more or less narrow the curve so that the spread can actually reduce.
“And when we came back from lockdown, we started negotiating with new dealers so that we can have more network stations across Nigeria. The whole idea is to actively make things easier for our customers so that there will be ease of servicing their vehicles and they can stay safe. These moves have made things easier for our corporate and individual customers.”
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