FAW Trucks has become one of the true success stories of the South African commercial vehicle market. Continuously reaching new sales heights since it’s first locally produced unit rolled off the assembly line in 2014, it now has a 16-strong range of commercial vehicles in different body derivatives that cater to virtually every need and application.
The company is committed to bringing to market products of high quality that are well suited to local conditions, boast high levels of safety, convenience and comfort, and represent excellent value for money through competitive pricing and affordable running costs. At the same time, it promises buyers added peace of mind through reliable and efficient aftersales service, maintenance, and backup.
Achievements aplenty in 2021
The numerous achievements and accolades the company has celebrated this year are unequivocal proof of FAW Trucks’ commitment to the South African market.
In the first quarter of 2021, the brand took the top spot in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment of the local market for the first time in a highly competitive environment.
In April a significant milestone was reached when the 7 000th locally assembled vehicle rolled out of the Coega manufacturing plant. The unit in question was a JH6 28.500FT, FAW Trucks’ flagship model in South Africa.
Says Yongjun Li, CEO of FAW Trucks SA.: “This was an understandably proud moment for us and reaffirmed FAW Trucks’ commitment to the local market. It was also just a reward for what is one of the largest investments made by a Chinese entity in this country.”
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.
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 the growing demand for FAW Trucks models.
FAW Trucks’ most recent achievement was receiving a Silver Award in the 2021 NADA Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey.
The NADA DSI survey, which marks its silver anniversary this year, is carried out annually to monitor the health of the relationship between dealers and their respective manufacturers. It provides the dealer body with a platform to provide manufacturers and importers with feedback and is seen by dealer councils and manufacturers as an effective management tool to address areas of concern and improve service delivery throughout the entire value chain.
FAW Trucks’ silver award in the latest survey follows the bronze award it received in 2019. In 2018 it scooped up the award for the Most Improved commercial vehicle brand.
Expansion of the local range
In July FAW Trucks expanded its popular 8.140FL range with the addition of an automatic transmission. This was in response to strong demand for a value-for-money automatic offering in the medium-weight segment of the commercial vehicle market.
The 8.140FL-AT has a body and payload allowance of six tonnes, making it the ideal partner for businesses and fleet owners who require a vehicle of smaller dimensions, but with the same durability and ruggedness as its larger brethren. It provides seating for a driver and two passengers and features a spacious and ergonomically designed cab, while air-conditioning and a radio with MP3 and USB functionality are standard.
In its latest iteration, it is fitted with a Euro 3 Cummins ISF 3,8-litre engine, an Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission, and a full air dual circuit WABCO braking system with ABS. Torque is a healthy 450 Nm between 1 200 and 2 200 r/min, while a solid output of 105 kW is on tap at 2 600 r/min.
Along with this tried and trusted engine, the 8.140FL-AT features a six-speed fully automatic Allison 1000 transmission with a hydraulic torque converter. It also has dual overdrives, with the second overdrive ratio being rather high. This allows for low engine speeds at cruising rpm and, ultimately, enables significantly reduced fuel consumption.
The 8.140FL-AT is available from FAW Trucks dealers in several body derivatives including a drop-side, a taut-liner option, a van body, a tipper, a roll-back, and a dry-freight insulated body. Customers can also choose to purchase the chassis cab and fit their own truck bodies to suit their specific needs. It is sold with a two-year/unlimited-kilometer warranty and benefits from the full extent of sales and/or service from representative outlets across South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana.
“The FAW 8.140FL-AT represents the strength, reliability, value for money, and ease of operations that products from FAW Trucks are renown for. Most importantly, though, is that it too is a truck built for Africa, in South Africa,” says Li.
On the cards for 2022
The big news for 2022 will be the further expansion of the FAW Trucks product offering with the introduction of the JK6 15.220FL 8-tonne 4×2 freight carrier.
The newcomer will be powered by a six-cylinder in-line, turbocharged engine with a capacity of 6 060 cc. This Euro II-compliant unit will deliver 165 kW at 2 500 r/min, with 770 Nm of peak torque on tap at 1 500 r/min.
Additional specifications will include an eight-speed manual synchromesh transmission, a hydraulic-air assisted clutch, and full air dual-circuit brakes with ABS.
With 22 dealerships and sales and service centres located around South Africa, and another seven situated in other Southern African countries, FAW Trucks is well-positioned to capitalise on the increased sales momentum it is experiencing.
“The reason for our continued growth and success in South Africa is that we cater to virtually every need,” concludes Li. “With a host of different engine capacities, payload allowances, and body options on offer, businesses big and small can rely on our products to get the job done.”