Toyota Starlet returns to Nigeria freshened up 22 years after
…With N9.4m to N11m entry price tag
Toyota freaks and those conversant with the popular Toyota Starlet in 1970’s and 1990’s are once again welcomed back to savour the hospitality of the once popular car following the recent launch in Lagos of the revamped and freshened-up Japanese model now offered in Nigeria as a sub-compact sport utility vehicle (SUV).
In a welcome remark by Kunle Ade-Ojo, managing director, Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), represented by Bunmi Onafowokan, general manager, corporate services during the official launch of the new generation Toyota Starlet at the TNL showroom in Lekki last Thursday, the franchisee declared that, the Starlet unveiling is in response to the yearnings of prospective customers that have over the years demanded an entry vehicle.
Down memory lane, it would be recalled that, the drastically improved Toyota Starlet was introduced first by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in 1973 as a coupe and was marketed until 1999.Known and praised for its quietness, docility and smooth drive, the new Starlet emanates from a collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki in 2019 referred to as Glanza in some markets and Starlet in Africa.
Starlet evolution began with the first generation between 1973-78 and called Publica Starlet with 2 doors and 1liter and a manual transmission. The second generation which spanned from 1978-84 was offered as 1.3 liters with improved suspension. It was followed by the third generation between 1984-89. Specific features a period were in the form of body improvement, front wheel drive, improved interior finishing and it was 40kg lighter than older model.
Then came the fourth generation between 1989 and 1996, which has what TMC called the CAD body with a friendly and flush fitting appearance laced with high quality fabric material and efficient fuel consumption. This was rounded-off with the fifth-generation featuring a power steering, central lock, a 4-way speakers stereo entertainment sound system and an improved interior between 1996-1999 before the Starlet’ eventual extinction.
Typical of the manufacturers corporate philosophy of continuous improvement, the unveiled Starlet, which is set to tackle segment rivals with entry prices, that ranges between N9.4million and N11million depending on the model and specifications is an elegant vehicle imbued with the quality, durability, reliability and style that the Toyota brand stands for.
The Starlet in its own right is a mini subcompact SUV that comes with 150,000 kilometres or 5 years warranty; whichever comes first. There are three variants of the 1.4 litre engine to cater to the preferences and pockets of the target segment made up of the entry grade, mid-grade and high-grade.
According to the TNL managing director as represented, ‘’Quality after-sales service is an essential component of our business value chain. We have consciously continued to improve on our after-sales service delivery and bringing such services closer to our teeming customers’’.
In a few months’ time, Toyota Nigeria Limited would commission world-class Certified Service Centre (CSC) at Isolo, Lagos. This facility has a body and paint section, a workshop and a parts section among other services available.
‘’With all sense of responsibility, I wish to note that this centre is second-to-none in Nigeria when compared to others, on the pedestal of equipment, highly trained manpower and exceptional service delivery. It is expedient to add at this juncture that, this unique Centre is a fertile training ground for our dealers’ technicians to gain hands-on experience. Toyota (Nigeria) Limited will not only continue to invest in the Nigerian Automobile Industry but also align with the aspirations of the Nigerian government to revolutionize the local industry’’. The managing director declared.
Meanwhile, this year 2021 marks 25th year of Toyota Nigeria Limited in the being automobile business in the country, and company sources say, the event will be marked quietly while thanking God for bringing the organisation thus far with its huge investments and dealers spread across Nigeria.
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