Since opening its truck assembly plant in Coega, in the Eastern Cape, in 2014, vehicle manufacturer FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (FVMSA) has improved its production volumes by 50%.
Therefore, the company’s forecast in May – selling about 1 000 trucks in South Africa this year – remains, says FVMSA, with current sales for the year at about 800 units.
Moreover, since January, the truck assembly plant has produced more than 950 units, of which 105 units have been exported.
The truck assembly plant forms part of the first phase of the Coega plant, which encompasses 103 000 m2 of land and a 28 000 m2 plant. Engineering News reported in March that the R600-million plant “will eventually ramp up to produce 5 000 trucks a year, supplying vehicles to the region . . . in right-hand- and left-hand-drive derivatives”.
FVMSA believes that demand in South Africa is “growing well”, as the company’s cost-effective vehicles, as well as after-sales support and services, have become increasingly recognised.
Demand from the Kenyan and Tanzanian truck markets is also increasing, the company states, adding that customers’ truck requirements also include reliable after-sales services, high-quality and cost-effective products, as well as localised configuration of vehicles.
Meanwhile, following the introduction of FVMSA’s Coega-assembled 8.140 FL medium-duty truck in May to the South African market, the company has sold about 30 units of this model a month on average.
While the truck was launched to cater for the Southern and Central African markets, the primary market for the truck is currently South Africa, FVMSA highlights.
The 8.140 FL medium-duty truck is available in several models, including drop-side and taut-liner options, as well as in a van, tipper, rollback and dry-freight insulated body. Additional features of the 8.140 FL include a 6 t body plus payload and a standard body length of 5.5 m.
The truck is also fitted with the Euro 3 Cummins ISF 3.8 ℓ engine, a ZF six-speed synchromesh manual transmission and a Wabco braking system with full-air, dual-circuit brakes.
While FAW’s truck range in South Africa comprises 12 models, the company also produces its own tipper bodies and mixer drum bodies.
The Coega plant has produced about 75 tipper bodies to date, the company says, noting that the market volume for the drop-side and freight truck bodies remains good and could be considered as a market in future.