FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa has enjoyed a memorable 2016, marking milestones not matched at other FAW manufacturing plants outside the headquarters in China.
Brian Joss – Since FAW SA started over 20 years ago selling trucks, in the last three years it has committed over $100million in local plant, infrastructure, job creation and training. The Coega-based plant and nearby body-building facility have only been in full operation for just over two years.
FAW had another reason to celebrate when the Coega-based plant saw its 2 000th built truck roll off the production line, But, according to the company, it is in the export market that it flourished over the last 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.
Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA said, “Many of the units being bought by sub-Saharan customers are now second, and soon to be delivered – third generation repurchase. This is testament to us honouring our commitment for service and support into the African regions.”
FAW has frequently emphasised its customer promise for parts, service support and technical assistance whenever and wherever needed.
BHL Haulage’s fleet consists of over 160 FAW trucks. Owner Buks van Rensburg is on record saying that for his copper route operations there is only one truck that works for Africa – the FAW 28.380FT truck tractor.
Another of FAW’s popular units sold here has been the remarkable 5-tonner FAW 8.140FL, which moved into the second position, based on market share in, just one year after being launched and it is reportedly the lowest cost-per-ton vehicle on m the market.
The FAW 8.140FL unit was also the first to carry a drivetrain with an international pedigree – the Cummins ISF engine and a ZF transmission. It also comes with full air-brakes, ABS and an air-cut parking brake.
Of the most recent achievements added to the expansive list of successes by FAW, was in November when 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.
Of all the FAW models the 15.180FL remains one of the most popular amongst 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 robust truck and comfortable cab can be combined with different body lengths and load combinations allowing flexibility in terms of bodies fitted – whether closed bodied or taut liners for city distribution, long haul distribution, lightweight dry goods or refrigerated applications. There are the obvious heavyweight construction and mining applications which call on its ease of driving, simplicity of operation and affordable operation costs, especially its low fuel consumption.
Another milestone marking a highly satisfying year for FAW SA is its benchmark of over
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.”