Being the first serious Chinese manufacturer in the country, FAW had to work hard to overcome pre-existing perceptions about quality. But, to its credit, it has persevered and shown that its vehicles are more than able to compete with European and Japanese rivals in all segments of the commercial vehicle industry.
The company also makes no bones about the fact that it sells vehicles that are more basic than their well-entrenched rivals. The very crux of its proposition is to sell vehicles that are easier to operate and maintain, while providing considerable up-front cost savings to would-be buyers.
Economical to run
According to company spokesperson, Loren Robson-Garth, these savings also extend throughout the lifecycle of the product with particular attention being paid to reduced service and maintenance costs. Fuel economy is another key focus area with fuel-saving systems having been incorporated into all vehicles across the entire range. Not surprisingly, this has made these trucks a popular choice in fuel-intensive work such as construction, earthmoving and other on/off road applications.
No fancy electronics make these vehicles especially appealing for far-flung companies, or those that are seeking uncomplicated trucking with no-frills and no unnecessary complications.
“At present we are probably best known for our excellent range of construction and tipper vehicles. However, in terms of heavy haulage, we are right up there with the best as our trucks are perfectly suited to African roads conditions with engines that range from 280hp to 460hp, and a variety of body types on rigid chassis or various truck tractor configurations.
“The bulk materials transport industry has been largely an untapped market for us and is one area which we will be aggressively targeting in future. Our vehicles are suitable for just about all bulk materials hauling requirements and the strength and reliability of our trucks make them ideal for any heavy duty work in short haul operations such as mines and processing plants. However, given the excellent fuel consumption stats, they are equally good for road transport, especially rural or even cross-border work,” says Loren.
No fancy electronics make these vehicles especially appealing for far-flung companies, or those that are seeking that are seeking uncomplicated trucking with no-frills and no unnecessary complications.
Truck prices have been kept at reasonable levels while parts availability, service and maintenance, as well as warranty terms are competitive with the rest of the market. A two-year unlimited factory warranty is offered on all trucks, while the 15.180FL currently on promotion, benefits from a one-year/60 000 free service plan.
“Our engines currently comply with Euro 2 standards (excluding the J6 28.460, which is Euro 3 compliant) and are engineered with harsh African conditions and fuel quality in mind. As a result we have several large fleets operating both within South Africa, as well as in Zambia, Swaziland and Namibia.
“BHL, a subsidiary of Cargo Carriers, has the biggest fleet to date, with almost 100 FAW 28.380FT vehicles running daily; we also have large fleets in the cement and concrete industry including Scribante, Concrete 4 U and many others. Other markets that we service are general industry, mining and even the waste collection industry.”
The bulk materials transport industry has been largely an untapped market
for us and is one area which we will be aggressively targeting in future
Loren concludes that the South African’s perception of Chinese brands is changing slowly but surely. Customers know that, after being in the country for 20 years already, the company is here to stay.
Product offerings are also based on more than just value-for-money. FAW trucks are cosmetically-attractive, reliable, fuel efficient, comfortable and are supported by a large dealer footprint that extends throughout southern Africa.