Eicher trucks will be assembled in South Africa in less than 12 months, says VE Commercial Vehicles South Africa (VECV SA) country head Surender Singh.
“The project has a one-year lead time. We are currently in discussions to make it happen.”
The Eicher truck range will be assembled at the UD Trucks facility, in Rosslyn.
All Eicher trucks are currently imported from India.
VECV SA and UD Trucks are members of the Volvo group.
Eicher entered South Africa earlier this year through the launch of the medium-duty Pro 3000 series.
The 8.5 t gross vehicle mass haulage trucks (4 t to 5 t payload) was followed by the unveiling of the 6000 series.
The heavy-duty 6000 series will be available in a freight carrier with different wheel bases, as well as a tipper, garbage compactor and cement mixer variant.
Singh admits that the Pro 6000 series will compete with UD’s products in the South African market, however, he notes that “each brand has its own unique selling point”.
He says Eicher products will be the lowest-priced product in the Volvo stable in South Africa, differentiating it from other products within the group.
“Our aim is to be reasonably priced. We are not Chinese, we are not Tata, we are not high-end European. We are in the centre spot. The sweet spot.”
Eicher is available at 14 outlets across South Africa. VECV SA has joined hands with dealership groups such as Imperial, BB Motor, Combined Motor Holdings, AAD, Billson Trucks, Fleet Dynamics Group and Premier Truck & Bus to make its products available to the local market.
Singh does not want to elaborate on the sales volumes VECV SA is seeking in the South African market.
He does note, however, that the launch of the Pro 6000 series may be followed by the introduction of an Eicher bus in South Africa.
The launch of a bus will follow once “we are settled in with the trucks”, says Singh.
He says VECV SA will focus on “permit buses”, such as those used by Golden Arrow and Putco, and not luxury coaches.