Chinese trucks market share grows


Tanzania’s Foton Motors market share is set to increase after the firm merged with Germany's Daimler to form Foton-Daimler in China.

The Foton-Daimler marriage entered last month led to the creation of Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Company, under 50/50 ownership, which is targetting the world.

Foton Motors (Tanzania) Managing Director, Ms Hellen Wang, told the 'Daily News' that the factory will manufacture Foton's existing Auman medium and heavy-duty trucks and Daimler's licensed 490-horse power Euro V heavy-duty truck engines.

"The partnership shows the starting of the era of high quality heavy-duty trucks... meaning our brands are good for any market, even the country's roads," Ms Wang said.

She added: "We expect to sell between 500 and 600 units of (Auman) trucks in the next two years... at this point, we might think of assembling the truck locally."

The firm said there are over 300 Auman trucks in the country ranging from light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles and saloon cars.  The firm also is marketing agro-implements -- tractors, buses and coaches.

The Foton Tanzania was registered only last year but, according to the Director, it has made a great inroad in the country, thanks to vibrant road transport sub-sector that accounts for about 70 per cent of total haulage.

She named some of the large Auman heavy duty truck clients in the country as Dhandho Road Haulage, TA Transport, AM Mbaraka Transport and a number of construction companies, especially from China.

"Currently we are studying the market if demand increases to our satisfaction level, we will build an ACDK plant in the country to ease business," Ms Wang said. Foton has already built such assembly complete knock-down (ACDK) plant in Kenya.

Foton Motors Tanzania Marketing Manager, Mr  Abdulrahman Issa said the firm is issuing a guarantee of 100,000 kilometres or a 12 months warrant, depending which comes first. 

"You can clock 100,000km in less than a year then we will honour the 12 months guarantee," Mr Issa said. "The truck was voted the best designed heavy-duty vehicle in 2009 in China.

He said in this year the firm plans to introduce its four-wheel pick-up in the market which is as good as any equivalent brands in the market, dubbed Tunland.In June 2009, Foton and US's Cummins Engine Company signed a joint venture agreement to set up a factory with an annual production capacity of 400,000 engines.

This is the second Chinese automakers to show interest in the country's market. Last week, SinoTruck, producing Howo, said it might build a CDK in Dar es Salaam.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Abduel Elinaza

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