GOOD NEWS: FAW is more than pleased with the milestones achieved at the company's manufacturing plants outside of China, including the Nelson Mandela Bay-based plant.
FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd. has enjoyed a particularly memorable 2016, racking up unmatched milestones amongst FAW manufacturing plants outside of the headquartered plants in China.
Besides the fact that FAW SA started modestly over 20 years ago selling trucks locally, it has in recent years truly stepped up to the plate. FAW SA has made a commitment in the last three years of over 100million USD 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.
One of the most recent achievements, and reason for celebration, was on 31 August when the Coega based plant saw its 2 000th locally built truck roll off the production line, giving rightful claim to the company motto - "Built in South Africa, for Africa."
It is in the export market that FAW SA has been particularly prominent and flourished over the past 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 adds; "What is most gratifying is that many of the units being bought by sub-Saharan customers are now 2nd, and soon to be delivered - our 3rd generation repurchase. This affirms 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 locally has been the remarkable 5-tonner FAW 8.140FL. This model succeeded to break the leading positions on numerous occasions during 2016, and that just one year after being launched. It is still holding sway for being among the lowest cost-per-tonne vehicles on 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.
"The popular 8-tonner, FAW 15.180FL model, went on to end the year well with 295 units sold in 2016 - a growth of 16,1% year-on-year. A nice, healthy double digit growth rate," remarks CEO Jianyu Hao."
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 tautliners 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.
Jianyu 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. We at FAW SA will continue to build on our customer relationships as we explore every new possibility."