FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA has racked up numerous milestones unmatched among the OEM’s manufacturing plants outside China.
FAW SA started modestly over 20 years ago selling trucks locally, but has upped the pace in recent years. It has, in the past three years, made a commitment of more than US$100 million in local plant, infrastructure, job creation and training. The Coega-based plant and nearby body building facility have been in full operation for just over two years. On 31 August the Coega plant saw its 2 000th locally built truck roll off the production line.
FAW SA flourished in export markets over the past few months of 2016, having one of the most consistent month-on-month export drives in the SA truck building industry. The company recently exceeded the 200 unit mark in exports into African countries.
FAW SA CEO Jianyu Hao says, “What is gratifying is that many of the units being bought by sub-Saharan customers are now second – and soon to be third – generation repurchases. This reflects FAW honouring its commitment for service and support into African regions. FAW promises customers parts, service support and technical assistance whenever and wherever needed.”
BHL Haulage’s fleet comprises more than 160 FAW trucks – and owner Buks van Rensburg says that for his copper route operations, there is only one truck that works for Africa – the FAW 28.380FT truck tractor.
Also popular is FAW’s 5-tonner FAW 8.140FL, which moved into second position (based on market share end October year-to-date) one year after its launch. FAW pitches the 8.140FL as the lowest cost per tonne vehicle in the market. Its drivetrain incorporates the Cummins ISF engine and a ZF transmission. It also features full air brakes, ABS and an air-cut parking brake.
In November FAW’s 8-tonner 15.180FL achieved year on year growth of 19,4%, with 289 units sold this year compared to the same period last year.
According to FAW, the 15.180FL remains one of the most popular among operators because it has all the hallmarks of FAW trucks – durable chassis frame and cross members capable of whatever African roads can throw at it. This truck and cab can be combined with different body lengths and load combinations allowing flexibility in terms of bodies (closed bodied or tautliners for city distribution, long haul distribution, lightweight dry goods or refrigerated applications). In heavyweight construction and mining applications, says FAW, the vehicle excels because of its ease of driving, simplicity of operation and affordable operating costs, especially its low fuel consumption.
Another milestone marking FAW’s year is more than 1 000 unit sales in a single year.
Hao concludes: “The indications for 2017 remain largely similar to 2016. It will be a tough and competitive market in slowly recovering economies. However, the opportunities are there and the chance of a one to three per cent growth is possible. We at FAW SA will continue to build on our customer relationships as we explore every new possibility.”
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