Nissan parades ‘ICT built’ brand in Malawi

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

Earlier this week, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd paraded its brand new 2015 y62 Patrol Ti series in Malawi, which is said to have taken advantage of ongoing ICT innovations and features built-in navigation and digital entertainment.

On Monday this week the Nissan's legendary Patrol proved to CEOs of most Malawian companies and organisations on why it is known as the 'King of the Off-Road' in Africa during a challenging driving and discovery event in Majete Wildlife Reserve in the southern tip of Malawi.

Later on Tuesday it was the turn of the Malawi media practitioners to sample the Nissan Patrol Y62 Series which is the largest and most expensive off-road wagon ever made by the Japanese giant, which has a long history in the 4WD and SUV field

The CEOs and the media practitioners that talked to BizTech Africa said the Y62 series has embraced ICT in its design.

“It has made driving really simple,” said Malawi’s popular TV host and 'Big Brother Africa' star Masuzgo Msiska popularly known as Mr. 265 who took part in the ride and drive event the company organised in order to strengthen the Nissan brand in an important sub-Saharan market and let Malawians experience one of the most iconic models from Nissan's global portfolio.

Msiska also commented on the big Patrol choices as comes in three grades with the entry-level ST-L and mid-spec Ti are each eight-seaters while the flagship Patrol Ti-L is a seven-seater with increased comfort levels.

As someone in showbiz he said with the automobile’s Bluetooth phone and audio streaming as well as large format front DVD player and a 2GB hard drive music server with six speakers not to mention the USB connectivity with steering wheel audio controls, he could not ask for anything else as better as this.

The vehicle has a satellite navigation; surround-view monitor; separate seven-inch DVD screens in the rear of the front seat headrests; a memory function for the driver's seat, steering wheel and door mirrors; centre console cool box and Bose audio with 13 speakers.

Just to demonstrate how the Patrol Y62 has used technology to the fullest is the special attention that has been paid to the second row seat passengers by not only significantly expanding legroom, but by also fitting a new multi-screen DVD entertainment system.

It also has two rear-facing TVs and a 7-inch monitor embedded into each front seat headrest, which includes 2 Bose wireless headsets with noise cancellation technology.

The vehicle has also been fitted with six airbags and a cool box mounted in the centre console between the front seats this is an addition to revised climate control system boasting which is another world-first – the curtain vent.

Potential customers and members of the Malawi community will set off from the Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre to put the Patrol through its paces on safari and experience first-hand the superior performance that has earned the 4x4 its ultra-dependable reputation spanning more than six decades.

The second trip on gave members of the media greater understanding about the all-round capabilities and benefits of Nissan's flagship SUV, as well as the many roles it can play – both on and off-road.

“The seventh generation Patrol is the greatest advancement in 4x4 history - a formidable presence in the African off-road vehicle landscape with the intelligence to adapt to any terrain and instant power on command,” says Ian Bartlett, CEO of Nissan Malawi.

“From the very beginning, the Nissan Patrol has been synonymous with power, with each new model employing advanced technologies that enhance both on and off-road performance to unsurpassable levels.”

Travelling in Africa presents a diverse range of challenging landscapes and Nissan Malawi will show how well-equipped the Patrol is to tackle any terrain with performance, stability and control.

“The Nissan Patrol is built for Africa -the hero of all terrains. It’s a vehicle that showcases Nissan’s innovative technology and engineering capabilities with surprising fuel efficiency,” says Bartlett.

Designed for people who have achieved success in life, enlivening the status they deserve and living the lifestyle they prefer, the Patrol combines performance and ruggedness with meticulously crafted luxury.

The 5.6l V8 engine offers the ultimate power trip. Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) and Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) technologies, improve power and torque with lower emissions.

The 7-speed VVEL automatic transmission with manual mode, offers seamless acceleration with 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque that delivers a drive of unmatched performance and dynamic control.

The ALL MODE 4x4 system utilises advanced electronics to ensure that no matter how severe the driving conditions, the Patrol will be able to grip the road at all times by transferring drive between wheels and axles.

The Hydraulic Body Motion Control (HBMC) system offers 4-wheel independent suspension. Working with the chassis and body frame the system maximises the suspension stroke on off-road running and prevents roll angle, to maintain flat riding with high damping force at cornering, “Which gives it superb stability on rugged and sandy terrain, while also delivering a comfortable ride in the city,” Bartlett says.

Bartlett says he is eager to showcase what the Patrol can do, particularly in sandy or gravel slopes and steep inclines while still driving in supreme comfort.

“With the Patrol’s technology, the driver will feel secure in any situation, even down a slippery slope without the need for braking, or through deep water, keeping the driver in perfect control with confidence.”

By combining functionality, versatility and powerful performance with an attractive design, superior styling and refinement, the Patrol takes sophistication and capability to a whole new level.

In Africa’s diverse population, products require new configurations to suit the distinctive needs of a young, increasingly more urban population which aspires to more sophisticated products and services.

“Nissan develops products to fulfil this trend and will introduce new models into Africa during the next three years,” adds Bartlett.

As part of Nissan’s wider ambition to grow significantly in the continent, the company's sub-Saharan operation has partnered with strong, local distributors such as Nissan Malawi, which is committed to evolve and play an important part in the growth story of Africa by exerting more influence in local markets.

Malawi is a key market for Nissan in Africa as it represents opportunities for business growth, trade and investment.

Bartlett says Nissan Malawi remains committed to provide a world-class automotive experience with quality customer engagement, and ongoing focus on sales and after sales service.

“It is well-positioned to meet the needs of Malawian customers with a showroom in Blantyre and sub-dealerships in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, and is confident of becoming the number one car dealership in Malawi - delivering the products and services the new generation of Africans expect and deserve,” he said.

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