FAW Trucks ended the month of April on a high note when the 7,000th locally assembled vehicle rolled out of its Coega manufacturing plant. This marked another significant milestone for the Chinese brand that took the top spot in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment of the local market for the first time in the first quarter of this year and to date maintains this achievement by outselling various well-known and established brands.
The unit in question was a JH6 28.500FT model, which has since been delivered to a well-established strategic fleet customer.
The largest of the truck tractors from FAW Trucks, the JH6 28.500FT features a full floating extended-roof cab with an innovative flat floor design for optimal comfort and interior space. Its 13-litre, six-cylinder common-rail turbocharged and intercooled diesel powerplant produces 370kW at 1,800r/min, has 2,300Nm of peak torque on tap at 1,400r/min and is commonly referred to as China’s most efficient engine. It is mated to a ZF 12-speed TraXon AMT transmission, with parabolic spring suspension front and rear to address vehicle weight requirements. A full air dual circuit WABCO braking system with ABS enhances the long hauler’s safety features.
Says Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW South Africa: “This is an understandably proud moment for us. It reaffirms our commitment to the local market and is just reward for what is one of the largest investments made by a Chinese entity in this country.
“Since first entering the South African market 27 years ago, we have gone from strength to strength, providing local buyers with products of high quality that are not only well suited to local conditions, but also boast high levels of safety, convenience and comfort. We have managed to combine this with competitive pricing, low running costs and excellent aftersales service.”
Funded by the China FAW Group Corporation and the China-Africa Development Fund, the first vehicle rolled off the Coega assembly line in July 2014. The facility was built at a cost of R600 million and spans some 30,000m². This includes a state-of-the-art training facility, a body shop and a paint shop. As a responsible corporate citizen, it provides employment for 148 staff members.
All units arrive in South Africa in semi knocked-down form and are then assembled at Coega.
Currently the Coega facility has a production capacity of 3,000 units per annum, but this is scalable to 5,000 in order to be able to meet growing demand for FAW Trucks models.
“The reason for our continued growth in South Africa is the fact that we cater to virtually every need within the highly competitive commercial vehicle market,” explains Hao. In addition, all models are assembled to exacting standards in order to be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the African continent.
“All current models in the local FAW Trucks range represent the strength, reliability, affordability and ease of operation that the brand and its products are renowned for. Most importantly, though, each model delivers on the promise of a ‘truck built in South Africa for Africa’,” Hao concludes.