Earlier this year another ten FAW J5 tippers units left the local Coega-based production plant for Tanzania.

A growing number of Africa truck dealers who traditionally placed their orders on FAW China continue to move their orders to originate out of South Africa owing to the shorter lead time for delivery, the high levels of quality from the South African plant, and the reduced cost of sourcing FAW vehicles on the same continent.

Cheng Zhang, Marketing and Strategy Manager, and spokesperson for FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA, explains: “There are many advantages of sourcing FAW products from our South African base – the most important being time-to-market in the Africa countries, and of course for the SADC and AU, the added advantage which comes from the import/export duty agreements,” he adds.

From the cost point of view, the African buyer can save vehicle import duty between 25% and 40%. Another advantage importing through FAW locally is that customers can get their vehicles within 30 days of order; much sooner than from China, which normally requires three months between order placement and delivery.

FAW SA says it plans to support sales in almost all the right-hand drive African countries. “However, our plan is to assemble the left-hand drive vehicles to supply to the African Union countries in future, where they too can get duty advantages”.

The Tanzania dealer noted that their best sellers are the FAW 6×4 truck tractor and FAW 6×4 15m3 tippers. The FAW J5 6X4 tipper has proven to be a stalwart product for Africa road conditions.

FAW vehicles can cope easily with the region’s dust and dirt challenges, as well as rough roads and slippery conditions. With its high payload capacity it provides good return on investment for most any operation, such as mining, long haul or logging.

The quality levels coming from the local plant ensure that the solid chassis and frame continue to give transport owners the ease of driveability they have come to expect from FAW trucks.  Another advantage of the running FAW trucks is that they are easy to maintain and service, with excellent accessibility to spare parts if needed.

For aftersales support, FAW SA is already supplying parts to those African dealers who import SA-spec models. Some dealers who import local spec models from FAW, still source their parts stock from China directly, because the purchase process is familiar to them and uptime in not affected.

FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd indicated that it constantly considers which of its global truck offerings in medium, heavy and extra-heavy ranges are feasible for building locally.

“However, we remain circumspect on drastically changing our local production complexity by adding too many different models produced at our Coega-based plant. It remains in our interest to keep our production plant simple, and to continue to maintain the highest levels of quality, rather than chase huge production diversity without adequate up-skilling and possibly a loss of focus on our core value – Quality at a Fair Price,” affirms Zhang.

FAW’s expansion into Africa continues to increase demand for FAW support in customer workshops and customer technical training. FAW SA continues to give Africa dealers full technical support where needed. “Besides it is much more efficient than sending their technicians to China to get trained or to wait for FAW China to come to Africa to sort out the technical problems,” adds Zhang.

Feedback thus far from FAW dealers in Africa is extremely positive. They have voiced satisfaction with the quality workmanship, and the superb attention to detail evident from everyone at FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd.

“FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd remains positive about the future and the growth plan that has been formulated for the FAW brand in Africa,” concludes Zhang.