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FAW trucks help take Spitskop to a new level

An astute businessman by any measure; modest in nature but highly enterprising – this is Mahlaka Lukas Makuwa, owner and MD of Mafate Business Enterprises, primarily a mining supply company. They supply ready-mix concrete, premix concrete, shortcrete, sand, stones and plaster mix to mines and contractors in Sekhukhune district including Steelpoort, Burgersdorp, Jane Furse and Phalaborwa areas.

Lukas Makuwa started his successful career and businesses from an unlikely background. He first obtained a degree in IT at Tshwane University of Technology and went on to work a number of year’s full time as an IT technician at Eskom. His vision, however, was to develop his own community and this drove him to grab an opportunity to bid for and obtain the canteen contracts for Vantec Mine and later Tubatse Ferrochrome Mine.

It was from here that he saw further opportunities working with the mines, first as a contractor to the mines in removing stones to crush and sell on to other businesses in the area; and later setting up the batch plant for ready-mix and aggregate supply to the Lion mining plant. More recently he started concentrating on also supplying asphalt to Lion Mine II.

Today Mafute Enterprises is the holding company for a number of other businesses including - a laundry and cleaning business, and a Supaquick tyre franchise. The holding company also owns 50% of ML Phadima Construction & Projects which loads and hauls chrome slag, does dust suppression, and grades roads at the Lion smelter belonging to Xstrata Alloys.

His newest ‘partner’ helping him achieve his overall vision is FAW trucks, which he took on to test in September 2014. Convinced that FAW were the trucks best suited to his operations and needs, he started purchasing various models into his fleet since then.

Today Lukas Makuwa runs nine FAW vehicles – four tipper of varying capacity and two mixers, one 6 cubic metres and the other 8 cubic metres capacity. He monitors his transport operations on a cost-per-hour basis and ensures wherever possible that they run at full capacity or capability.

The models in the Mafute fleet include three FAW 35.340FC 8 cube mixers, two FAW 33.330FC 6 cube mixers, two 35.340FD 15 cubic metres tippers, and one each of the FAW 33.340FD 18 cubic metres and 20 cubic metres tippers.

“I like the FAW trucks because they are strong, no-nonsense trucks. They are tough and work hard, like me,” Lukas laughs. Lukas’s first big break came when he landed the first 3-year contract with a Glencore mine, with a specially structured deal – including ring-fencing and the surety of R4,8 million to buy capital equipment. His first work was to move ferrochrome with an articulated dump truck.

Careful planning and a very ‘hands-on’ approach ensured that he subsequently landed another 3-year contract, followed by a third for four years.

With the concrete batch plant in full swing, Lukas and his trustworthy employees continued the company’s stellar performance landing contracts which included supplying the Lion Mine’s building Phase II, a Maraisburg Mine project, the Burgersfort Shopping Mall and Magareng Mine projects.

Asked what makes him successful, Lukas says it’s all about keeping your finger on the pulse, “I work long hours overseeing all the enterprises, but I have reliable supervisors in place also. I routinely (everyday) check in with each business and if anything needs changing I rectify and correct the process.”

“Regarding new business, I have my ear to the ground and I don’t hesitate if I believe something presents a worthwhile opportunity to explore.”

“FAW trucks are reliable and I can trust them to do their job. That’s why I’ve planned to purchase anther five 10 cubic metre tippers for my asphalt operations,’ he says.

“My drivers keep log sheets which are monitored for efficiencies. As everyone knows concrete is a perishable material. I certainly do not like dumping a load because of timing which goes wrong.” Loading the FAW to legal capacity and up to 35 tons on shorter stretches, Lukas commends the FAW trucks’ on their torque and power.

“Lastly, but very importantly, the support in service – on-site or wherever I need it – which I get from FAW Pretoria West and specifically Pieter Gerber, is unmatched. He’s a stalwart who is prepared to go the distance for me. That’s another reason I trust the FAW brand of trucks. Pieter and FAW work as hard as I do.”

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FAW produces 3 000th local truck

FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd has notched up another record in its ever-expanding success story. The latest milestone added to the company’s history is the 3 000th locally built vehicle to roll-off the production line.

Besides the fact that FAW SA started modestly over 20 years ago selling trucks locally, it has in recent years truly stepped up its expansion plans for the SA market. FAW SA has made a major commitment in the last four years amounting to over 100 million USD in local plant, infrastructure, job creation and training. The Coega-based plant and body-building facility have only been in full operation for just over three years.

Recently when the production line was geared for the new FAW 33.420, the line integration went off without a hitch. The 33.420FT truck tractor is the newest truck to be built by FAW SA. It follows a tradition of very sturdy trucks with high performance levels, low operating costs, high efficiencies, easy driveability and low cost on maintenance and repair. Its predecessor was one of the top sellers in the FAW stable.

The Coega plant has become renowned for its built quality since it first opened in July 2014.

Subsequently it has increased production to include almost all FAW commercial vehicles sold in the local and Southern African regions. Customer demand specifically for locally built FAW trucks has increased exponentially in the last three years.

This most recent achievement was pegged in the calendar earlier this month when the Coega plant employees cheered as the 3 000th locally built truck was signed off at the last quality inspection gate, giving rightful claim to the company’s motto – “Built in South Africa, for Africa.”

A growing number of African truck dealers who traditionally placed their orders for vehicles built by FAW China continue to move their orders to originate out of South Africa owing to the shorter lead time for delivery, the high levels of quality from the South African plant, and the reduced cost of sourcing FAW vehicles on the same continent.

Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA adds; “What is most gratifying is that many of our units being bought by sub-Saharan customers are now 2nd and 3rd generation repurchases. This affirms our commitment for service and support into the African regions.”

The Coega-plant has also been the bedrock for further investments in the Eastern Cape region as a number of China-based industrial giants have visited Coega to see first-hand what the region can offer in infrastructure, logistics and labour. The FAW SA plant was the first large scale investment by a China-based company in the Eastern Cape region. A number of China-based companies are considering following suit, based on FAW SA’s successes.

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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BHL repurchase proves FAW’s reputation for reliability

For the cynics and the doubters here’s proof that there are massive opportunities for transport business in Africa.

An operator who has successfully done business for over 20 years in Africa now – Buks van Rensburg, Managing Director of Buks Haulage Limited (BHL), has just supplemented his FAW truck fleet, when he recently took delivery of another 25 FAW 28.380FT truck tractor units in Johannesburg.

“The key is that you must know and understand this diverse continent with various levels of development, and different economies. The African environment is enigmatic; it is collective of many nationalities with many different languages and cultures. Transport operators, especially those from South Africa, need to acknowledge, accept and plan for the challenges this presents,” advises Van Rensburg.

He says that running heavy-duty trucks throughout Southern Africa requires one very important attribute - flexibility!

“First world business models for logistics and materials handling are not necessarily going to work in sub-Saharan Africa,” he advises. “Where I run transport throughout Southern Africa, and up to Zambia, the challenges are massive and can change quickly. You need to be able to adapt and reorganise your team, the logistics, routes, contracts and loads, quickly and easily. Obviously, you need the tools and infrastructure to communicate and plan fast. You also need your support infrastructure to move with you when needed.”
“For this you must have the best of the best. First and foremost are my drivers. They are the most important asset in BHL,” says Van Rensburg. “Driving a laden vehicle of in excess of 52 tons GCM over 2 400 kilometres in some routes, requires another partner with impeccable trust, understanding and reliability. That’s why I am committed to the FAW brand and especially why I keep ordering more FAW 28.380FTs,” he says.

In total BHL now runs over 160 FAW vehicles in their fleet, the majority being the FAW28.380FT side-tippers mainly for Zambian copper concentrate and some drop-sides load carriers for timber work in Swaziland, amongst many other applications.

A new Namibian company setting up a new smelter increased mining opportunities further afield, which allowed BHL to add to their FAW truck fleet.

“I took a decision a few years ago that all my replacement vehicles would be the FAW 28.380FT truck tractor. We use it in two configurations – one is a flat deck and the other a side-tipper trailer supplied by Afrit Trailers, another key partner in our team.”

BHL run FAW 28.380FT side-tippers, transporting copper concentrate from the mines in Zambia to the countries smelters. Thereafter the robust FAW flat decks transport the beneficiated material from the smelter, over 2 400 kilometres from Ndola, Zambia, to Walvis Bay, Namibia, for export to China.

Being very logistics savvy Van Rensburg keeps his fleet loaded as much as possible on return trips from Namibia to Zambia, carrying various chemicals, some hazardous even – like sulphuric acid - needed by the mining industry up in the African copper belt.

Asked about the vehicle-of-choice falling to FAW, and the FAW 28.380FT in particular, Van Rensburg, responds easily: “It’s simple – it is effective cost of ownership, together with a dependable, durable and easy-to-operate product. Most importantly is the great aftersales support we get from FAW.”
“Who can argue with 2,1 kilometre per litre on a side-tipper and 2,5 kilometres per litre on a tri-axle flat deck? Since I’ve changed to the FAW vehicles I have realised a 10% saving on fuel alone over previous vehicles. On fleet utilisation I have increased my uptime from 65% to 95%,” says a very satisfied Van Rensburg.
“Why is FAW so good? Because the FAW is easy to service and to maintain at our self-service depots in Ndola and Solwezi, Zambia, our drivers love them and BHL has optimum fleet efficiency.”

BHL has 100 depot employees, of which 12 are FAW-trained technicians to look after the FAW fleet. BHL holds R5-million in parts and spares, to not only service and maintain the vehicles but to carry out repairs and even conduct rebuilds if necessary. Smaller containerised workshops are set up on site where the contract requires this.

“We’ve seen concrete evidence of FAW’s durability, reliability and simplicity. Our drivers love their FAW trucks. BHL follows a one-driver-one-truck policy. Also our drivers prefer the manual transmission because they are quicker to repair and, frankly much easier to drive in Africa. The 28.380FT has the best uptime – a big incentive for drivers too. Keeping our well-trained drivers comfortable the FAW provides a cosy cab with air-sprung seats and all the necessary creature comforts.”

Van Rensburg may appear to be a strict logistician, but he has a compassion for his drivers that is unrivalled. At the handover of the 25 new FAW28.380FTs he said to his drivers who were present, having just completed their driver training at FAW headquarters: “You are my business. Each and every one of you, my drivers, is responsible for our success.” He went on to acknowledge their sacrifice and dedication. He thanked them for their excellence not only in their superb driving skills but in their willingness to live a harsh lifestyle in one of the most challenging jobs.

Speaking to some of the drivers, they confirmed the arduous environment and gave the example of a 179km drive from Chingola to Solwezi which takes them 6 hours to cover.

Each of the company’s vehicles is equipped with satellite tracking technology and all of its drivers are given mobile telephones. This enables BHL to monitor driver behaviour and ensure its trucks are being operated in the most cost efficient and responsible manner possible.

“FAW aftersales support and personal attention is unrivalled. I’ve yet to enjoy better support than that which I have from the FAW group. They’re part of my team; understand my business and know what is important to my business’s viability,” reiterates Van Rensburg.

BHL fleet maintenance standards are at first-world standards.

“As far as BHL’s customer commitment is concerned, we acknowledge that our customer is king. We are committed to honouring our agreements with our clients on time, at all levels and to remain professional at all times,” Van Rensburg states proudly. “Each client is treated individually and offered real-time management solutions. We give peace of mind to our clients, so they can focus on their core business, while we manage their transport and logistics. I think this is a big factor in repeat business.”

According to Van Rensburg, sound project management is vital in all types of jobs, whether they are long-term or short-term contracts. “Excellent communication is of the essence for effective decision making, delegation of tasks and liaison with all our customers at all levels, and the assigned manager will ensure that the project team develops a sound understanding and appreciation for each of our client’s business,” Van Rensburg says.

He concludes: “Our business is only as good as our people and partners like FAW and Afrit. BHL is very fortunate to have a committed group – people and companies who believe any job is possible and everything around us is an opportunity.” About Bulk Haulage Limited

Buks Haulage Limited (BHL) is one of the premier transporters and logistics services providers in Zambia. Not only is it one of the country’s industry leaders, it is a dominant force in the wider sub-Saharan African region too.

BHL was formed in Zambia in 2004 and Buks Van Rensburg, the company’s Managing Director (MD), steered the company to almost immediate success. Following an ambitious expansion programme, in which BHL invested heavily in purchasing new trucks, the company has grown at a phenomenal rate over the past couple of years.

Today it operates a diverse fleet of over 160 trucks and tractors and its host of vehicles include: • Stainless steel tanker trucks • Super-link side tipper combinations • Tri-axle sided flatbeds • Front-end loaders for loading and stockpiling • Dual Trailers – Tankers/Tippers

BHL service the Zambian and the sub-Saharan African region and carry various products such as Copper concentrates (our core business), lime and sulphuric acid. BHL clients include international mining and trading houses. BHL operates in the mining, manufacturing and agricultural sector.

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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Scribante turns up the volume in Gauteng

“Repeat purchase is the best measure of success” as is evident from the 35 FAW mixers and tippers added recently to the fleet of Scribante Concrete, bringing FAW’s representative total in that fleet to stand at 89 units.

Pushing for growth in an economic downturn takes tenacity, carefully calculated risk profiling and considerable research, all “flavoured with a touch of foresight’”. These are the attributes displayed by Scribante Concrete, a division within the larger Scribante Construction Group, as the company expands its reach in Gauteng with the commissioning of two concrete batching facilities – one in Muldersdrift and the other in Laezonia.

Alongside some sizeable investment into plant, equipment and staffing, Scribante Concrete has expanded its fleet with the purchase of 35 additional FAW vehicles. Going into operation at the West Rand batch plants at present, the new FAW units include 27 FAW 35.340FC 8m3 mixer trucks, six FAW 33.330FC 6m3 mixer trucks, and two FAW 28.280FT side tipper trucks.

Troy Petzer, operations manager for Scribante Concrete, explains: “The Scribante Construction Group saw the opportunity, crunched the numbers and with very careful consideration and planning, decided to invest and expand our Gauteng footprint. We had the chance to acquire the sites for our batch plants. Based on a 50 kilometre radius for delivering our time-sensitive product, we secured suitable construction contracts to support our growing business, as well as enough future prospects to validate our decision to strengthen our position in Gauteng.

“We’ve been running FAW mixers and tippers in our fleet for close on three years now. Based on the total cost of ownership calculation, together with superb aftermarket service and support, our choice fell to FAW as we replaced older vehicles in the fleet and started equipping for the West Rand plants.”
“Besides the vehicles, we’ve refurbished and installed the batching plants, appointed a management team for sales and customer contact, done staffing for concrete production, also for our maintenance and service workshop, and acquired drivers for our new extended fleet. In total we’ve created over a dozen new jobs so far with this expansion.
“As we’ve done in the past, Scribante Concrete will attend to basic service and maintenance on the vehicles on-site. To this end we’ve appointed two technicians. All technical training, driver orientation and testing, as well as 24/7 parts supply is provided and guaranteed by FAW SA whom we’ve come to trust. This was a crucial element in our purchase decision,” affirms Petzer.

He certainly aims to get every ounce of work out of each vehicle. However, the performance of each unit or ‘cubes per day’ as he puts it is highly dependent on the operating environment.

Other Scribante concrete production sites in Gauteng are based in Midrand and near Kyalami Business Park. Past projects served from these sites include the upgrade of both N2 and N3 freeways, and supplying concrete for a tunnel section of the Gautrain project between Malboro and Linbro Park.

“We’re not new to the pressures of transportation in Gauteng - highways with high traffic volumes, extended peak time congestion, eTolls, and generally aggressive driver behaviour. Key to our efficiency formula is the net cost-per-cube of our concrete product. We intend to continue securing contracts, offering competitive pricing by ensuring we have a high volume throughput from our West Rand operations,” says Petzer.

Not prepared to disclose the planned output for the West Rand plants, Petzer was willing to say that the volume targets are ‘aggressive’ and will demand superior customer service on the part of Scribante. In turn, the demand on the FAW truck fleet will be for maximum uptime, easy and efficient driving, highly effective parts supply, and lowest cost of operation.

“We’re up for it. We’ve been in the business for over 16 years; we have the advantage of a strong foundation through the Scribante Construction Group; and we have the experience and know-how needed to distinguish ourselves in this highly competitive industry.
“With respect to our transportation requirements, we have ‘walked the road’ with FAW and ironed out many ‘bumps’. Our relationship today is a highly collaborative one.” The specialised truck modifications required and designed by Scribante have been incorporated by FAW SA into their offering.
“These specifications can be applied to the benefit of other FAW clients for their ready-mix concrete mixer trucks,” says FAW Regional Manager, Vernon Rudman, who is the main point-of-contact for Scribante Concrete, looking to their needs regarding the FAW fleet.
“The changes requested by Scribante were approved by our parent plant; applied to the mixer trucks, chassis and mixer bodies. The continuous improvement we were able to incorporate once again underpins the value of pursuing and maintaining a close relationship with a customer. They know their business best and we know our trucks best. Together we can improve and provide solutions that satisfy our customers’ needs.
“Together with Scribante Concrete, we at FAW SA have literally ‘refined’ our robust and durable mixer trucks to provide even stronger and longer-lasting operational efficiency. This serves both our customers’ and our own interests; really a win-win situation.
“As Scribante has shown continued support of our brand, so too will we continue to develop and improve, not only our product, but our personal service and aftermarket support,” concludes Rudman. “Scribante’s planned strategy and its success in Gauteng, depends partly on our FAW vehicles – a challenge for which we too are fully prepared.”

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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FAW SA recognised in the global arena for major achievements

The commitment by FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd to the African region and its successes this and last year, have not gone unnoticed. Recognised as the most determined and most successful Export and Import business units of the massive FAW Group worldwide, the local company has received a sought-after accolade.

FAW in South Africa was recognised this year in China, amidst representatives from all the active FAW regions worldwide. It was during the FAW Import and Export Corporation’s annual Global Sales And Marketing Conference in Chengdu, that Mr Richard H. Leiter executive director from FAW SA who attended on behalf of FAW SA, was called up to receive the special honour of the “FAW – Best Distributor Award 2016”.

Mr Wang Zhijian, President of the FAW Import and Export Corporation who was proud to announce the award explained: “This award stands for the united spirit of FAW employees and Dealer partners who jointly tackle regional and global challenges. It is awarded in recognition of singular collaboration between all teams and all individuals working for the company or dealers in – sales, aftermarket, service and support, parts and maintenance, and finance and Insurance. It acknowledges these teams that have worked according to a co-ordinated strategy with a single unified vision.”

This award gives honour to that FAW company which has shown quantifiable results emanating from joint determination and focussed drive.

While the award mainly recognises the efforts of a particular year, the fact remains that FAW SA is continuing with its growth strategy into 2017. FAW SA set new benchmarks and company sales records in both January and February this year.

First were the astounding 107 units sold in January setting the highest benchmark yet for FAW SA, regarding year-on-year growth comparisons.

As if this in itself was not astonishing enough FAW SA further proved another record in February. This achievement was even more exciting for all the employees and partners when the company and its dealers together racked up 134 units sold, the most ever recorded in a single month.

This year’s momentum follows on many of last year’s successes.

One of these 2016 highlights happened in the second half of last year when the Coega-based plant near Port Elizabeth saw its 2 000th locally built truck roll-off the production line, after just two years of production, giving rightful claim to the company’s motto – “Built in South Africa, for Africa.”

It was in the export market that FAW SA was particularly prominent and flourished in 2016, having one of the most consistent month-on-month export drives in the SA truck building industry. The company exceeded the 200-unit mark in exports into African countries in just a year of exports.

A growing number of Africa truck dealers who traditionally placed their orders from FAW China continue to move their orders to originate out of South Africa owing to the shorter lead time for delivery, the high levels of quality from the South African plant, and the reduced cost of sourcing FAW vehicles on the same continent.

Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA adds; “What is most gratifying is that many of our units being bought by sub-Saharan customers are now 2nd, and soon to be delivered - our 3rd generation repurchases. This affirms our commitment for service and support into the African regions.”

The Coega-plant has also been the bedrock for further investments in the region as a number of China-based industrial giants have visited Coega to see first-hand what the region can offer in infrastructure, logistics and labour. The FAW SA plant, at a start-up cost of USD60 million, was the first massive investment by a China-based company in the Eastern Cape region. A number of China-based companies are considering following suit, based on FAW SA’s successes.

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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New horizons explored with FAW

New Horizons Metal CC, is a tight-knit operation focussed on cost-efficiency and on-time delivery of its products to the medical community. The medium-sized enterprise based in Briardene, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) specialises in manufacturing hospital furniture, such as medical trollies, carts, gurneys or other wheeled stretchers, almost all types of metal medical equipment required for a clinically sterile environment.

“We work mainly with stainless steel or aluminium, and easy-to-clean padded top equipment, such as examination tables for clinics and doctors’ rooms. Our items are highly specified in respect of dimensions, materials used and quality standards. We have over 400 line items which we manufacture ourselves with our staff of 30 people,” explains Sagren Naidoo, a partner in the family-owned business.

As a wholesaler (to clinics and hospitals) and retailer (to doctors and specialists) we also have to manage the logistics from our production plant to the end-user or consignee.

“Of course, one of our cost challenges is the input price of buying materials such as stainless steel. So it remains imperative for us to control our costs throughout our whole supply chain, from material procurement, manufacturing, packing and distribution.”

New Horizons Metals do most their own distribution, only contracting out to third-party courier or break-bulk services were delivery logistics and costs are warranted or at preferred cost ratios.

“We are running the FAW 15.180FL for our delivery to points which are in far-flung, rural areas and which are either out of reach of normal courier services or where costs indicate a saving in using our own vehicles.
“One advantage of using the FAW 15.180FL is certainly the driver comfort with our choice of the semi-sleeper cab, well-sprung air-suspended seat, adjustable steering column and air-conditioning system – all together resulting in good driving comfort. A comfortable driver is a better driver. We’re seeing cost-effective driving with low fuel consumption, low wear and tear and good vehicle condition all round, with the FAW,” affirms Naidoo.

Further adding to driver safety, the FAW 15.180FL is equipped standard with ABS with automatic slack adjusting brakes.

According to FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA, the 15.180FL is aggregated to a gross combination mass of 24 tonne. With a GVM of 15 tonne the vehicle provides a healthy 8 tonne payload depending on the body configuration.

“What is naturally important is the back-up and aftersales support we enjoy from the team at FAW’s regional centre in KZN, providing us with excellent standards of service and original parts supply guaranteed.”

New Horizons Metals are using the FAW15.180FL with a modified fuel tank, enlarged to cover a longer delivery range and to cut down refuelling stops. “We also needed to secure both our load, the driver safety and our vehicle. For these reasons we installed a small number of extras, some of which include an anti-tampering fuel cap and special battery security cover.

Another accessory which New Horizons says is a boon for the drivers is the lockable toolbox, which is not only handy for carrying the normal mechanical vehicle equipment, but also used by the driving team as a safe personal storage space during rest stops or when overnighting between legs on the various country-wide routes.

“One of the more important issues for us was the transparency with which FAW was prepared to deal with us and their truck body-builder, RAM Bodies who produced the exceptional 2,6m x 2,6m x extra-length 7,5m mild steel (0,8mm thick) closed box body. Their dealings were honest and open and we appreciated this very much.
“Our plan is to run the FAW15.180 on a 5-year/400 000km lifecycle and then assess replacement cost. We are also looking into the possibility of acquiring a FAW8.140 for our one-day trips on shorter routes,” says Naidoo.

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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FAW trucks - a frontrunner at NAMPO 2017

FAW vehicles have become evermore popular amongst the agricultural community, and the numbers of FAW in this sector are growing exponentially year on year.

The FAW exhibition stand at NAMPO this year was a frontrunner in terms of best automotive industry stands. It maintained its stand size, vehicle representation and engagement with the public.

Farmers like the FAW brand for its strong chassis; grip and traction through a manual transmission; a decent cab design for in field and on-road driving comfort.

“The interest in our stand and our vehicles was astounding. Visitors to the stand remarked on the exceptional finish of our cabs, our reasonable pricing and the transformation towards the modern design of our trucks,” said Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
“High-quality manufacture, yet simple in design; high levels of performance; and economical operation – this is what FAW commercial vehicles offer,” said Hao.
“At NAMPO we showcased a range of our highly affordable trucks. Those farmers visiting our stand were highly engaged with our sales teams, as they discussed and proved our claims with actual figures from farm operations, and the low cost of ownership of an FAW vehicle.”

Two of FAW’s best sellers - the FAW 8.140FL and the FAW 15.180FL – were centre-stage to demonstrate exactly why these vehicles have gained such high acceptance levels in their respective market segments, including the agricultural community.

This is the 16th time that FAW has participated at NAMPO. “This certainly demonstrates our commitment to the farming community. We’ve recognised the patronage and loyal support of the multitude of agricultural customers who have, over the past 22 years that FAW has been present in SA, remained committed to our brand,” said Hao.

The number of FAW trucks sold in the sub-Saharan region has grown exponentially since the opening of the Coega-based plant in 2014. Many Southern African customers are buying locally produced vehicles because of the obvious cost benefits and the opportunity to purchase well-engineered trucks, some modified to meet specific regional conditions.

The advantages of ‘buying local’ abound. These include - the shorter lead-time for delivery; the internationally recognised, high quality levels maintained in the South African plant; and the reduced cost of sourcing FAW vehicles locally, rather than importing.

Jianyu Hao explained: “There are many advantages of sourcing FAW products from our South African base – the most important being time-to-market in the African countries, and of course for the SADC and AU, the added advantage which comes from the import/export duty agreements.”

The NAMPO Harvest Day held annually at Bothaville in the Free State has attracted not only local agricultural role players, but also many visitors with an agricultural interest from across the entire continent and other continents, specifically South America and Asia.

Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day is reportedly the largest collection of agricultural exhibitions under private ownership in the southern hemisphere. According to their website the NAMPO Harvest Day enables the agricultural industry to experience first-hand and on one terrain, the latest technology and products on offer in the farming industry.

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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Passion for FAW rewarded with 30% fuel saving

Seldom does one come across a fleet owner who so generously sings the praises of a particular brand of truck and displays such passion and pride at getting the logistics near-perfect – from manufacturing the product, to bulk loading or bagging, and the transportation by the “best drivers, in the best vehicles, to the best clients”.

The end result for Westfert Logistics’ clients is a remarkably low cost of operation, and a fair profit for Westfert. Clients are reportedly having made commitments to Westfert that no other provider will replace them as the farmers’ fertiliser supplier, no matter how far away they may be.

Westfert produces and distributes fertiliser either in 1-ton bags or in bulk, about 34 tons when bagged at full load, and transports these using a fleet of their all-time favourite FAW 28.380FTs.

Jakobus de Wet ”Just call me Kobus, like everyone else” is in partnership at Westfert Logistics in the heartland of the Free State maize-growing belt. Their plant is situated in Hoopstad, from where they have a delivery radius to about 350km, mostly west of the N1.

“We are the farmers’ favourite supplier because we do exactly what they ask, when and where,” explains Kobus. This is said not with arrogance, but simple, authentic joy at keeping an enviable logistics model “on the money button” for his business and for his clients who are acutely aware of every cost, especially in times of drought like now.

“Today, even an amount of R50 makes a difference to some of my farmer clients. Many of them work their own cost models on a per-hectare basis, so it’s important that the fertiliser we supply is not only perfectly mixed - to each farmer’s own formulation but that it is 100% evenly mixed, without unnecessary clots or grit. In field our fertiliser is spread and worked finely. Beware a farmers’ wrath if any agricultural equipment experiences downtime resulting from our fertiliser mixture.”

At present the five smart FAW 28.380FT stand neatly parked, every night, clean and ready in the fleet yard, next to the Westfert’s fertiliser plant. If a farmer wants his load dropped by 7am on his farm 350kms away, Westfert’s driver will get on the road by 3am to ensure he is on the farm ready to drop the load on time.

With the tri-axle trailers fully loaded the farm drops can be as short as 50 minutes. Fleet management systems from CTrack provide clear data on idling time, geofencing, driver behaviours and load/unload data.

“Our best fuel consumption across the fleet of five trucks based on my calculations of seven full 34-ton loads delivered in a one-day cycle, compared to our previous fleet doing the same job cycle, is 31% on fuel alone,” says Kobus.

Calling the driver closer, whom Kobus treats with great respect, Hannes relates why his No1 vehicle to drive is the FAW 28.380FT. “Its easy to steer and controls well, with the simple manual gearbox, which on the stretches I keep around 90km/p/h, usually in gear 7 and 8 which give me the best road holding and smooth driving combination.”

The raw materials for the various “secret recipes” of each of the farmer clients include the natural fertiliser elements - nitrogen, potassium, urea and potash. Almost all the urea is imported from Russia, which Westfert does both for themselves and on behalf of farmers who do their own mixing.

The fertiliser production plant is has been expanded to make use of a system whereby the exact mix in the exact quantities ordered per farmer is deposited into special bins - all managed via sophisticated computer programmes. These bins are cradled onto specialised trailers. At the drop site the bins can deposit exact quantities in literally a few minutes.

These specialised trailers are being built to our spec at the moment.

With this trailer the FAW28.380FT can literally release all the bins simultaneously in minutes, or like break bulk – separately - if loads are for different clients at other destinations. In this manner the full 40-ton payload can be optimised and turnaround time minimised as there will be no need to wait for forklifts which could be out of commission or simply work too slowly with the pallets.

This strangely named trailer – fertiliser tender trailer – with the pipe belt or auger for dropping the product can also be equipped with shutes for direct loading into a farmer’s in-field equipment.

Kobus is so entranced with the logistics and details of the process - from fertiliser production plant to happy farmer client that he gives generous credit to the FAW dealer representative, Dawie Naude, based at FAW Welkom dealership, especially Dawie’s willing involvement in the concept of continuous improvement, always looking out for ways to enhance savings and improve performance constantly.

“Dawie is also on call should we need any additional service or maintenance support – virtually 24/7. This over and above the excellent maintenance and servicing we already enjoy from FAW.
“These FAW 28.380FTs are so good – affordable, good performance, exceptionally low cost of operation and truly rugged enough to deal with the potholed roads in the region. No difficult or over-complicated electronics, simple and easy.
“Ours is a drive and stop operation, so a truck will last us 14 to 15 years before replacement is needed.”

Westfert Logistics’ vision for the future?

“Seeing as 85 to 90% of our farmers in the area concentrate on maize, we’re very positive about expanding our client base. Our aim is to become the main provider for fertiliser in this region. A tall order – maybe – but as we grow we’ll take our trusted partners at FAW with us. Perhaps we can look to a fleet of 50 trucks running these challenging roads and fields in the next few years,’ smiles Kobus.

Issued by Wilken Communication Management Tel: 012-4604448 Fax: 086 529 3103

On behalf of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.

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A satisfying 2016

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.”
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FAW plant produces 2000th local truck in just two years

It was a proud day last month when FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd produced their 2 000th locally built truck at the Coega plant.

Employees and plant management gathered to celebrate the occasion, with high praise and gratitude expressed by local and international FAW management to the workers for maintaining a highly compliant quality production process since the plant’s start up in July 2014.

Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA, gives credit for the achievements of the company to the employees: “With such a large workforce, our aim has been to keep the manufacturing logistics simple, yet thoroughly in-line with strict built standards as well as safety, health and environmental regulations. Thanks to a disciplined and dedicated workforce, we have maintained our standards and have even received an international FAW award in recognition for our outstanding quality.”

FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Limited, in the relatively short period since opening its 60 million USD plant in the Coega IDZ in the Eastern Cape, is seeing growing returns, despite the sluggish markets. This is mostly evident in the steady advance in the number of exports, with local customers’ confidence increasing in the FAW brand.

These results affirm the initial trust and commitment made by the massive Chinese truckmaker; and to some extent has spearheaded other Chinese goods manufacturers to invest and expand their operations to South Africa.

Adjacent to the vehicle manufacturing plant, FAW made a further multimillion Rand investment less than a year after the plant opening in a truck body-building facility which includes a fully-fledged paintshop.

Sales of FAW trucks have tracked strong upward growth year-on-year over the last few years (2013 to 2016). To date the FAW medium-weight 8.140FL range was ranked second in the 5-ton truck segment. This after only one year on the market. On introduction it was lauded as the lowest-cost-per-ton vehicle in its segment, and still today it is one of the most affordable and efficient trucks available in this category.

HAO confirms: “FAW SA is resolute in having chosen South Africa as its base for the Southern African region.

‘We have become a proud business citizen of South Africa and positively affirm our original assessment of SA with the motto – ‘Built in South Africa, for Africa.’

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Rough and tough operation, FAW tippers are up to the task

Dust, dirt, loose sand and corrugated roads are ‘all in a day’s work’ for the fleet of FAW 28.280FD 6X4 tippers operating on the andalusite operation of Imerys Refractories (Pty) Ltd at the Rhino Mine site near Thabazimbi in Limpopo Province.

Fleet operator and contractor on the project, Willie de Beer and his son Michael, run the fleet with their staff of 24 people deployed as drivers, loader operators, technicians and administrative support.

Since being re-assigned the contract, Willie de Beer purchased the FAW 28.280 10m3 tippers early last year. These ‘dirt monsters’ are moving a massive quota of about 4 200 ton sand, grit and loose stone mixture a day; roughly between 108 000 to 110 000 ton a month.

Mining and moving andalusite, which is an extremely hard nesosilicate mineral, is highly abrasive on any equipment involved. This presents all the vehicles and heavy equipment with one of the toughest environments to work in. The residue sand and stone, after separating the core minerals, are no easier on the vehicle and equipment either.

What made Willie de Beer decide to buy the FAW 28.280FD was the brand’s reputation for strength and durability. “These tippers have exceptionally good torque – 1 160N.m between 1 400 and 1 700 rpm - they also have a strong chassis, great steel tipper bins and offer a solid payload at 28t GVM.

The Weichai WDB615.50 engine has proven its capabilities over and over. We are very happy with the combination of this engine and the manual 9-speed FAW gearbox giving us a grade ability of 36%@V. We are able to move quickly and efficiently with these tippers across the hills and valleys of this terrain.”

Since changing to FAW tippers, de Beer reports a 22% drop in fuel consumption.

The site’s major obstacles are heat, powdered dust and extreme gradients, with the FAW taking all of these obstacles in its stride.

“We enjoy the support of the FAW Pretoria West dealer and Pieter Gerber, the Dealer Principal, in particular, when it comes to keeping the tippers moving.

The dealer is responsible for servicing our vehicles on site, the supply of parts and the training of our drivers. Invaluable service and support when we have these types of site challenges to deal with,” says Willie de Beer smiling.

“Another major selling point was affordability, as this is especially relevant when you run a relatively small fleet like ours. That’s why I’ve been buying FAW since 2008 and certainly plan to continue with the brand that has not let me down to date.”

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FAW Harrismith dealer ‘bats a century’

Literally ‘hitting it out of the park’, one of FAW’s acclaimed dealers scored a century when he delivered his team’s 100th FAW truck sold - a first among FAW’s Southern African representatives to sell this many units through a single FAW franchised dealership.

Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW Vehicle Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd South Africa, says this exceptional sale milestone by a single dealer marks an evolution among the FAW representatives across southern Africa.

“Our representative sales and service dealers are passionate about our brand and are certainly advancing their skills, knowledge and ability to compete with other established commercial vehicle retailers.”
“With this sale of the 100th FAW vehicle we at FAW Vehicle Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd South Africa thank the customer, VKB for their faith in the brand and congratulate the dealership team for exceptional resilience in a tough market and their commitment to excellent customer service.”

Juan Wiggill, dealer principle at FAW Harrismith credits his entire 26-person staff complement with the achievement. “Here at FAW Harrismith we all have a passion for the brand and are dedicated to customer services, whether on the sales or the after-sales service and maintenance side. Whatever our team of staff do they know exactly what to do, how best to do it and always display friendliness and express interest in every customer’s business. The key asset to any good dealership is good, well-trained, right-attitude staff.”

Good teams of people are mostly led by a disciplined and fair leader.

Juan Wiggill himself has a friendly demeanour, but is uncompromising on cost and quality control, with all the checks and balances followed to the ‘T’. This is especially so with workshop activities. His best cost-control philosophy is to do the job right the first time and never waste, neither time nor materials.

It is for this very reason that VKB chose to purchase their latest FAW fleet addition, a FAW 28.380FT from Juan Wiggill.

Bryan Boshoff, Logistics Manager of VKB says that not only are their FAW vehicles giving them very good fuel consumption figures, but also the FAWs are lowering total cost of operations, and provide great value for money.

More importantly Boshoff praises the FAW Harrismith dealership for providing VKB exceptional service, maintenance and parts support for their whole FAW fleet, which include the FAW 7.130 (4-ton), the newer FAW 8.140 (5-ton) and a number of FAW 28.330 (13.5-ton) units.

Boshoff adds: “This is an outstanding transport partner and Juan Wiggill had gone ‘over and above’ expectations, especially when he loaned me a FAW truck while mine was in for repair, just so that I’d have no downtime on my own transport contracts.

VKB has a fleet of 60 trucks and 400 LCVs to deliver general goods, flour and fertilizer, among others, across the entire country. “Downtime is a critical element when it comes to my own service delivery. So it’s great to have a truck partner who understands this and the effect it has on my business,” says Boshoff.

FAW Harrismith was awarded Best FAW Dealer of the Year Award in 2014.

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Landmark agreement between FAW and AMH

Landmark agreement between FAW Trucks and Associated Motor Holdings (AMH)

Johannesburg, 26 January 2016: A significant agreement has been reached between FAW and Associated Motor Holdings (AMH), part of the Imperial Group, to offer the best sales experience, top-notch quality service, parts and maintenance provision to all FAW truck customers in Malawi and Zambia.

At the legal confirmation ceremony this week Manuel Pereira de Canha (CEO of AMH) affirmed AMH’s belief in the positive attributes of the FAW brand of trucks. “This Chinese brand has remarkably changed old misconceptions. With its leading global manufacturing plant, FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd, like its parent company, can equal the same build and quality standards of just about any other brand.

The distinction between different truck categories and the purchase decision lies with the customers and their specific operations, contracts, business models and company projections.

Some customers and fleet operators will choose more affordable, but simpler vehicles while others prefer high-end premium technology and sophistication. It’s a conscious choice for a specific business solution. It is no longer a question of the level of manufacturing infrastructure or labour, it is a question of what suits the customer best,” said Manuel Pereira de Canha.

“FAW trucks have proven in a few short years their durability, strength and rugged capacity to deal with some of the most rigorous operating conditions prevalent, especially in developing global regions, such as Africa.”

“AMH recognises this as an opportunity to grow its African footprint and we look forward to the positive growth opportunity.”

In response to Manuel Pereira de Canha’s commitment from AMH, Mr Zhijian Wang, (Managing Director of FAW Import & Export Co. Ltd.) paid respect to the trust and respect demonstrated by AMH in the FAW brand. AMH will be the exclusive sales, parts, service and maintenance truck partner of FAW in Zambia and in Malawi.

“In 2015 FAW Vehicle Manufacturers built and sold over 1 000 trucks into the southern African region. With the formidable experience of a partner such as AMH in Malawi and Zambia, plus our own expansion further into Africa, we have set our sights on 5 000 trucks per annum to be sold in the near future,” said Zhijian Wang confidently.

The greatest advantage for South Africa underpinning this agreement is that all the FAW trucks sold into sub-Saharan Africa are being manufactured locally at the Coega plant based near Port Elizabeth.

Opened in 2014 the FAW Coega plant has extensive capacity to expand production to up to 5 000 vehicles per annum. This presents a remarkable opportunity for further capital investment, job creation, greater localisation of second and third-tier supply levels, and an expanding vehicle manufacturing sector.

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FAW plant nearing 100 exports mark

On the export side of their business FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd has registered 90 units built locally for export into Africa.

In February the year another ten FAW J5 tippers units left the local Coega-based production plant for Tanzania.

A growing number of Africa truck dealers who traditionally placed their orders on FAW China continue to move their order to originate out of South Africa owing to the shorter lead time for delivery, the high levels of quality from the South African plant, and the reduced cost of sourcing FAW vehicles on the same continent.

Cheng Zhang, Marketing and Strategy Manager, and spokesperson for FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA, explains: “There are many advantages of sourcing FAW products from our South African base – the most important being time-to-market in the Africa countries, and of course for the SACD and AU, the added advantage which comes from the import/export duty agreements,” he adds.

From the cost point of view, the African buyer can save complete vehicle import duty from 25% to 40%. Another advantage importing through FAW locally is that customers can get their vehicles within 30 days of order; much sooner than from China, which normally requires three months between order placement and delivery.

FAW SA says it plans to support sales in almost all the right-hand drive African countries. “However, our plan is to assemble the left-hand drive vehicles to supply to the African Union countries in future, where they too can get duty advantages. The Tanzania dealer noted that their best sellers are the FAW 6x4 truck tractor and FAW 6x4 15m3 tippers. The FAW J5 6X4 tipper has proven to be a stalwart product for Africa road conditions.

FAW vehicles can cope easily with the region’s dust and dirt challenges, as well as rough roads and slippery conditions. With its high payload capacity it provides good return on investment for most any operation, such as mining, long haul, logging or the like.

The quality levels coming from the local plant ensures that the solid chassis and frame continue to give transport owners the ease of driveability they have come to expect from FAW trucks. Another advantage of the running FAW trucks is that they are easy to maintain and service, with excellent accessibility to spare parts if needed.

For aftersales support, FAW SA is already supplying parts to those African dealers who import SA-spec models. Some dealers who import African-spec models from FAW, still source their parts stock from China directly, because the purchase process is familiar to them and uptime in not affected.

FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd indicated that it constantly considers which of its global truck offering in medium, heavy and extra-heavy ranges are feasible for building locally.

“However, we remain circumspect on the drastically changing our local production complexity by adding too many different models produced at our Coega-based plant. It remains in our interest to keep our production plant simple, and to continue to maintain the highest levels of quality, rather than chase huge production diversity without adequate up-skilling and possibly a loss of focus on our core value – Quality at a Fair Price,“ affirms Zhang.

FAW’s expansion into Africa continues to increase demand for FAW support in customer workshops and customer technical training. FAW SA continues to give Africa dealers full technical support where needed. “Besides it is much more efficient than sending their technicians to China to get trained or to wait for FAW China to come to Africa to sort the technical problems,” adds Zhang.

Feedback thus far from FAW dealers in Africa is extremely positive. They have voiced satisfaction with the quality workmanship, and the superb attention to detail evident from everyone at FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd.

“FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (Pty) Ltd remains positive about the future and the growth plan that has been formulated for the FAW brand in Africa,” concludes Zhang.

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Harrismith Farm Donation

In South Africa today, we’ve reached a point where news has to be quite horrific before it makes the papers or reaches the airwaves.

Even then, if you’re not living near to the event, it may well go largely unnoticed. The recent, massive veld fires which tore through approximately 34 000 hectares of the Free State’s farming community, however, has left marks and memories which will not quickly be forgotten.

At time of writing, six people had lost their lives and an, as yet, undetermined amount of livestock and crops had been lost. The total cost of the devastation is, at this point, impossible to calculate as animals are continuing to be euthanised and the full extent of the damage to the affected land may only be known in seasons to come.

Talking to some of the folks who’d helped fight the fire, the trauma and disbelief they’re clearly carrying was tangible. “There are more FAW owners, per capita, in the Harrismith area than in any other municipal district”, says Mike Johnson, Dealer Development Manager at FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA. It was without hesitation then, that when the owners of FAW Harrismith, Juan and Minitsa Wiggill, called Johnson and asked for help, he made it happen.

FAW SA purchased a large load of livestock feed and had it delivered by an impressive looking FAW 28.380FT truck tractor to representatives of Free State Agriculture and the Harrismith Disaster Fund. “We needed to know how best we could assist. Helping to keep the affected animals alive was a sensible, manageable, and vital option”, said Johnson. FAW’s willingness to entrench themselves within the Free State farming community is echoed by the company’s commitment to South Africa as a whole.

Having invested R600 million in setting up an assembly plant at Coega, near Port Elizabeth, the Chinese-based goliath has left no doubt in anyone’s mind as to its intentions. The new plant will be building locally all the FAW truck models currently on offer here, from the 8- tonner 4x2 FAW freight carrier to ‘heavyweight’ FAW J6 28.460 6x4 truck tractor with its 75ton GCM. The FAW 28.380 6x4 truck tractor was the perfect choice to run with the load of emergency feed.

It is a popular choice amongst the farming community because of its durability and reliability, and its simplicity to maintain. In its favour it has a GCM of 62ton which is powered by the proven Weichai engine delivering a smooth 280kW at 2200 r/min and a torque of 1460N.m between 1400 and 1600 r/min.

As the team headed back to Jo’burg, the enormity and severity of this incident seemed to stay with the group. That feeling, however, was overridden by the strength of character and the determination that the Harrismith community possesses. With the help of companies like FAW SA, the road to recovery might just be a little shorter and a fair bit easier.

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FAW donates R200 000 to benefit hundreds of primary school children

As part of its social upliftment and community commitment initiatives, FAW donated the school uniforms, valued at R200 000, to the children who attends six different schools, located in impoverished Nelson Mandela Bay areas. At each school staff members were tasked to identify 50 learners who are in dire need of uniforms.

The uniform packs – made up for boys and girls - consisted of a pair school shoes, a shirt, pants, skirt, school tracksuit, school jersey, a tie, and a pair of socks. The five Motherwell based schools who benefitted from the donation are Fumisikoma Primary, Melisizwe Primary, Imbasa Primary, Empumalanga Primary, and Mdengentonga Primary.

Coega Primary School in Wells Estate is the sixth school which benefitted from the donation. Richard Leiter, FAW executive director encouraged the children to continue with their education and to study hard.

Leiter said “we hope to continue our work with the schools and extend our social upliftment programme to other schools in the Eastern Cape”. “We are privileged to be here. We are your new neighbours and will look after you and assist you,” Leiter said. He told the children that they should aim to someday “become engineers, like in China, where everyone is an engineer.

You must work in the automotive industry and one day own your own businesses,” Leiter said. FAW, which launched its Port Elizabeth plant, on July 10, in Zone 2 of the Coega Industrial Development Zone, is fully committed to community upliftment and introduced the FAW SA Social Responsibility Foundation with the opening of its plant.

The FAW SA group, which has been in South Africa for the past 20 years, already has a total of 285 employees. Over the next three years, with the Coega IDZ plant fully online, and the commissioning of further facility expansions in Johannesburg, this number is set to grow, and approximately 750 work opportunities will be created for the South African economy by 2016.

The donation by FAW is aligned with Coega Development Corporation’s (CDC) corporate social investment (CSI) mandate to improve the lives of those affected by socio-economic inequalities, according to Thandi Siyo Rayi, CDC’s CSI manager. “We encourage our investors and tenants to invest in communities.

This donation will make a big difference to the learners and it will encourage them to fully participate in the learning process," Rati said. Coega Primary School principal Xolile Mpati said the donation meant a lot to the school, families and children. “Some of these children are from very needy homes and don’t have the basic school uniforms such as school shoes. This donation will close the gap between those who have a uniform and those who do not,” Mpati said.

Mdengentonga Public Primary School principal Mveleli Mbewu was very happy for the donation and said the children and their families will appreciate the uniforms. “This will boost the children’s moral. The majority of the children are unemployed. At the school we are a family and we want all to look the same,” Mbewu said. During the last financial year (2013/2014), the CDC invested in excess of R17-million in the local and regional communities, contributing more than the 1% of its total budget required to CSI Initiatives.

Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, head of CDC Marketing and Communications, said that the CDC’s CSI is in line with its good business practices and exemplifies the organisation’s commitment to broad sustainability and integration, not only within the organisation but in the wider Nelson Mandela Bay area, and in communities and around the province.

“We work towards making meaningful contributions to job creation, environmental protection, heritage and culture alignment, training and skills development, business partnerships, enterprise development and engagement with communities,” Dr Vilakazi said.