What is he complaining about?

Card - zero tolerance for buying and selling in the temple

Card - zero tolerance for buying and selling in the temple

Although, it is understandable how you might feel when you see your former clean car being plastered with variety of unwanted stickers by the new owner. But what can you do?

That was the case between the former President of United States of America’s Chief of Staff, Andrew Card and President Barrack Obama, when the former was chastising the latter for not wearing a suit jacket, claiming Obama’s attitude to stain the history-gained respect of the Oval office should be condemned.

In his words, “I don’t criticize Obama for his appearance, I do expect him to send the message that people who are going to be in the Oval Office should treat the office with the respect that it has earned over history.”

His love and respect for the coveted seat of the United States of America presidency is applauded, but it is high time this politicians realise that when the time comes to quit the stage, dont forget your props there!

By ol’Victor Ojelabi

Side Note: To read more, click http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/05/bush-chief-of-staff-to-ob_n_164286.html

The Lies is in Truth

They are all in league.

Deception is everywhere and phonies are scattered all over the land. Maybe the biblical doomsday is near. Till then, one should be very cautious therefore in decision making and transactions. As this practice is conversant in every other field, it is in automobile industry to stay. Though most of the auto dealers are honest, not all religious leaders are to be trusted, understand?

Challenge honesty and integrity, a survey has shown that the auto industry is riddled with liars and crooks. You know, if you could define politicians, telemarketers and insurance agents (talking of the insurance agents too, is an issue next week), you can find a matching platform to put the auto dealers. They are all in league.

Although names would not be mentioned, I would try as much as possible to get you informed of their shady practices for you to recognize the feel of the devil’s touch, even in the dark.

Marketing is almost always anchored on deception, which is an activity most people identify with a grain of salt. According to them, life is a sales game and to win it over, every strategy must be deployed – whether it is good, tolerable or awful. Several profit oriented companies make profits by promoting their products and services as better than their rivals, regardless of their truthfulness.

According to an analyst, dealership owners usually keep these eccentric salespersons because they are usually seated atop the sales charts. Although reputation is one significant thing, as they say, business is business. And unless the situation would generate a legal action, most businessmen will not avoid a goose that lays golden eggs.

Among the most common sins include price topping, which involves an agreement between the salesman and a purchaser on a particular price. Afterwards, he tops the final bills with additional hundreds of naira by including finance charges to a few more naira per month than what is required. And bill-padder or the excessive labour fees in regard to pre-delivery work like those involving audio system upgrades, larger wheels, and other options. This is easily disguised by adding several folds of naira per month to the final charge. They also engage in what I term language play which involves the use of grammar and technical languages to aggravate the importance of the product, and before you realize the harm that’s done, you’ve started nodding in agreement. They are all lies.

Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Ltd

Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Ltd

Despite Chief Michael Ade Ojo, Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Ltd philosophical exposition on the fact that criminality does not sell car, the industry still has its slice of shady characters, same with other industries. However, various industries are swarmed by different types of people – people of character, integrity, faith and those belonging to the d-doers.

According to some dealers, it is quite unfair to dub them all as liars, crooks, or fraudulent doers when they are engaged in honest businesses. They added that selling cars is a great way of earning honest income. “Profit,” said an auto dealer, “is not an option, but an objective in any business and that holds true in my industry. It is as fair for an auto dealership and an auto salesperson to make a profit as it is fair to make a profit in any other form of business. There are good people in the auto industry and I am one of them!”

Anyway, regardless of what I think, at the end of all these, you still get the car you always wanted. And that is the truth.

Das Auto ist Wunderbar!

In a collection of many toys, there is always a preference of one to others; BMW Z4 is simply a cynosure of the eyes. Simple definition, no more, no less!

The rascality of BMW designers always reinforces the belief that das Auto, manufacturers never disappoint, yet you keep guessing what the next surprise would be. The magnificent design of the new 2009 Z4 will definitely hasten the production of the 24th edition of the James Bond film. A look at the extra-ordinary beauty actually explains more why the film maker worked out a product placement deal with the manufacturers which started with Z3, Golden Eye in 1995; 750iL, Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 and the Z8’s inclusion in The World is not Enough.

Unlike the previous soft-top models, 2009 BMW Z4 convertible comes with a more refined (and better looking) retractable hard-top that lowers in 20 seconds. And wondering what this means for a potential Z4 coupe, I think the new Z4 has eliminated the need for one. Driving with the roof down, this two-seater offers a refreshingly intense experience of the sunshine and the wind rushing by, and driving with the hardtop closed, it provides all the comfort of a sporting coupe in the premium segment. Combining elegance, agility and supreme comfort, this outstanding two-seater offers a light weight two-piece aluminum shells, which rest in the roof compartment, saving maximum space in the process.

With a trunk capacity variation from 180 to 310 litres, you definitely can’t complain of space inadequacy, while a pass-through hatch between the seats allows for the storage of enough surprises to make her love you till the end, when you finally decide to send that proposal in a Be-My-Wife style.

Not only is precision gone into the making of the fine line darling, the choice of engine for the converty houses the reigning International Engine of the Year and range topping, twin-turbo 3.0-litre in line-six, which has its history rooted in the BMW lineage. The twin-turbo I6 replaces the 3.0 litre in the outgoing car and is featured in the Z4 sDrive35i model. With a rotational compelling force of 295lb-ft and mechanical horsepower equated braking of 306bhp, the sDrive35i eats the miles in one hour at the rate of 62mph topping in 5.2seconds with the manual transmission car and 5.1 seconds with the fantastic 7-speed Dual-Clutch transmission equipped Z4; are you Being My Wife?!

Other engine choices include the non-turbocharged 3.0-litre in the sDrive30i and the 2.5-litre in the sDrive23i with 258 bhp and 204 bhp respectively.

More evolutionary in design, the new-Z4 lines are taught and much more refined without forgetting to carry out enough design language from the new 2009 7-Series, you definitely can’t call it a bastard!

Remember, if you forget to own any particular brand of car, never die without using a BMWagen. Short of words to describe this beauty, I didn’t know when I shouted Das Auto ist Wunderbar! That is, wonderful; speaking German with intuition.

Killing the proverbial Elephant

Every now and then, a journalist has a story dumped in his lap when he least expects it. For me, the official compulsion of a rider to use helmet is such a story.

Taking a critical look at the whole thing, the bye-law can be critiqued in two ways; either as another act of official hysteria that would soon pass away or a pursuit of permanent solution to the incessant head injury related deaths on motorbikes popularly called Okada.

Putting all these aside, and being happy for the time being, even if the bye-law will soon be thrown aside, I guess it is only proper to applaud the introduction of the compulsory usage of helmet for users of motorbikes for reasons I want to review here.

Comparison to a car, motorcycle is a very dangerous form of transportation, whether the rider thinks otherwise or not. In fact, it is believed in some quarters that it should be banned as a means of carriage, although some others think such action might be too extreme. Generally, those I spoke with canvassed the fact that government could make legislation to limit the excessiveness of Okada riders.

A particular study estimated that the number of deaths per mile arising from motorcycle accidents in 2006 was about 35 times the number involving cars. It’s quite alarming, those motorcycles deaths have been on the increase. The figure in 2007 actually doubled deaths recorded in 2006. Incidentally, as the death toll increases, so also the number of Okada purchased everyday. Now, this is beside the injuries consequent on Okada accidents like broken limbs, fractured skulls and spinal cords, to mention just a few.

Although, when the recent call for the compulsory use of helmets is considered, it is believed that the policy is justified, because commercial motorcyclists, with what have become their belligerent characteristics on roads, even as they find much pleasure in over-speeding and riding on the wrong side of the road anytime they feel the convenience of such law breaking act. All make them to be more prone to life threatening injuries or deaths from accident in their un-cased machine when compared to the relative security provided by a cased car.

Motorcycles are unenclosed, exposing riders to contact with hard road surfaces. And since deaths due to motorcycle accidents are associated with head injuries, the policy that enforces the use of helmet is then justified. It serves as principal counter-measure for reducing crash-related head injuries.

Several states government have made it the responsibility of government to foot medical bills of accident victims, it can be reasoned that by using helmet, which is designed to cushion and protect the head of a rider on impact with ground, the money expended on taking care of Okada accident victims can now be used in other meaningful ways.

Although, a 100 per cent protection from head injuries cannot be guaranteed with the use of the helmet just as safety belt doesn’t ensure the safety of a vehicle’s occupant in the event of an accident, it does reduce the incidences of injury. It is quite effective in preventing brain injuries, which often require extensive treatment and may result in life-long disability. According to a scientific finding, unhelmeted motorcyclists are three times more likely than helmeted riders to suffer traumatic brain damages.

However, despite all talks about helmets’ ability to protect your brain from scattering out of your skull, they still require certification of a federal body to okay the use of some particular ones. That is, even when the right motorcycle helmets are used, head injuries are much more likely with some helmets than with some. And this calls for urgent intervention by the Road Safety Commission.

The Okada riders in Kaduna recently protested the use of the helmets, either out of ignorance or they saw it as an opportunity to be recognized. Some, among other litanies of complaints across the nation, widely claimed that helmet obstructs rider’s vision, but studies show full-coverage helmets provide only minor restrictions in horizontal peripheral vision. It also found that wearing helmets restricts neither the ability to hear horn signals nor the likelihood of seeing a vehicle in an adjacent lane prior to initiating a lane change. To compensate for any restrictions in lateral vision, riders should increase their head rotation prior to a lane change. There are no differences in hearing thresholds under three helmet conditions: no helmet, partial coverage, and full coverage. The noise generated by a motorcycle is so loud that any reduction in hearing capability that may result from wearing a helmet, is inconsequential. Sound loud enough to be heard above the engine can be heard when wearing a helmet.

Another good thing about the use of helmet is the decline in motorcycle thefts, mainly because some potential thieves would not have helmets, and not wearing helmet would attract police notice. One thing is sure, with the introduction of the law, the rate of thefts would reduce drastically.

All said and done, one Yoruba (an ethnic tribe in southwestern Nigeria) maxim says that different knives are expected at the death of an elephant, this could be said of the different kinds of helmets now being exhibited on the roads. I think the riders should really be warned, because you would not imagine the kinds of eyesore of objects masquerading as helmets being displayed and forced on people to wear by Okada riders. These objects range from calabash type helmet, rugby football type helmet, military type helmet, space type helmet, knight-type helmet, and construction type safety helmet.

The standard should be either full-face motorcycle helmets like the X-11 and TZ-R, and open-faced motorcycle helmets, like the RJ Platinum R, St. Cruz, and J-Wing. Although any of these might set your pockets back at ten thousand naira (N10, 000.00).

There is no gain-saying that with the new law, high reduction in death rate by motorcyclist crash will be recorded, but then the different knives that are appearing at the death of this proverbial elephant should be regulated.

Written by ol’Victor Ojelabi