Foton, which has already established itself as a supplier of a top quality one-ton bakkie, the Tunland, in South Africa, gave visitors to the annual Nampo agricultural show a preview of the spacious Sauvana SUV which is based on the Tunland. The model name is derived from the Spanish word “savannah”, which means a tropical plateau, and emphasises the vehicle’s go-anywhere capability.
Brian Joss – The response to the Foton Sauvana from visitors to Nampo was very encouraging according to Pedro Pereira, who is responsible for marketing the Foton range of light commercials and passenger cars in South Africa.
“This year marked a very special edition of the well-known Nampo show in Bothaville as it was the 50th anniversary of the first of these events which have become internationally famous over the years as the show has grown in stature,” added Pereira.
The Sauvana was shown by Foton for the first time at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China in 2014 and went on sale in China at the beginning of 2015. It has been introduced into the United States using its American-designed Cummins engine as a major marketing tool.
The Sauvana is a hardcore, large SUV powered by the 2.8-litre Cummins turbo-diesel engine that is already fitted to Foton’s Tunland range of premium class pick-ups which have been on sale locally since 2012. The Sauvana, which is based on the chassis and running gear of the Tunland pick-up, has been undergoing local evaluation in South Africa since early this year and is performing very well. It is due for public launch in the fourth quarter of 2016 and is expected to be very competitively priced.
“The Foton brand is making steady progress into the South African vehicle market as we expand the range and we are confident the Sauvanna, which will compete in a major segment of the local SUV segment, will assist in growing sales volume,” said Pereira.
Foton SA had three Tunland one-ton pick-ups on its stand at Nampo as well as the Sauvana, while the Cummins 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine which powers all these models was an imposing centrepiece.
The Tunland pick-ups on the stand were a double cab 4×4 Lux, a double cab 4×2 Lux and a single cab Off-Road, all of which have applications in the local agricultural market. Foton also demonstrated the prowess of a Tunland double cab 4×4 on the Nampo 4×4 track and it attracted favourable comments for its performance.