Homegrown trucks with an international background

In any country with the kind of economic issues we in South Africa face, international investment is a much-needed injection of capital. Even more importantly, if that investment includes the creation of an established manufacturing facility, which provides much-needed employment, it is to be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks to the astute assessment by successful entrepreneur Richard H. Leiter of the value of a range of Chinese trucks for our harsh and demanding conditions, just such a company was formed in 1994. More importantly, within 20 years of its foundation, a range of homegrown trucks with an international background was born.

History in the making The company formed was FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY) LTD and immediately recognising the importance of their corporate social responsibility, a manufacturing plant, built at the cost of R600 million, based in Coega in the Eastern Cape was established.

History was made on the 10th of July 2014 when the first FAW commercial vehicle, wholly made in SA, rolled off the assembly line. What a significant achievement this was for FAW South Africa and the people who had worked so hard for it.

FAW had finally realised its dream to provide the opportunity for South African’s to buy locally made Chinese origin trucks and today the plant builds an entire 14-model range of commercial vehicles sold in South Africa locally.

In 2016, FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd produced the 2 000th locally built truck at the plant, just two years after the first – a magnificent achievement which has, in turn, lead to the plant’s current capacity to produce over 5 000 trucks per annum!

No ordinary facility

This is no ordinary facility either. The 30 000m² Coega plant has state of the art training facilities and is one of few local OEMs to have built a three 000m² Truck Body-building Shop, together with an appropriate Paint Shop Facility. The paint Shop Facility is equipped with state of the art technologies to produce long-lasting truck body paint and finish.

Always putting its people first, FAW’s compliance with all health and safety, environment and quality (SHEQ) standards is rigidly practised. Designed in accordance with environmental recommendations and standards, the plant is efficient, cost-effective, and the buildings are well equipped with ample ventilation, natural light and wide aisle space.

No ordinary people

We believe that a company that cares for its people is always rewarded. Thanks to our disciplined and dedicated workforce, we have not only maintained standards but have received an international FAW award in recognition for our outstanding quality!

From importer to exporter

The measure of a real success story is in the extent of the final outcome and this is an impressive one. Today this range of homegrown trucks with an international background is achieving international aspirations! FAW South Africa is now supplying trucks not only to the South African market but the rest of Africa as well. The current projections are that eventually only 40% of our products will be destined for South Africa, whilst 60% will be exported. Contact us to receive the personalised attention we so pride ourselves on conveying to all our customers and visit our website to view our full range of proudly South African manufactured vehicles.

We are now a true business citizen of South Africa and have positively affirmed our original assessment of SA with our motto – ‘Built in South Africa, for Africa!’

4 pillars of support your truck manufacturer’s network should provide!

You hear it all too often. People who buy trucks for their vital work fleets who are let down or disappointed in one way or another. They are not backed up with a real support system and so parts, servicing and especially inadequate warranties become problematic, in some cases after quite a short time.

Well, before you even make the decision to purchase your next work vehicle, whether it is a freight carrier, truck tractor, tipper or mixer, here are 4 pillars of support your truck manufacturer’s network should provide …if they don’t, look around until you find the one that does!

1 Parts, servicing and an adequate dealer network

Ensure that your truck manufacturer’s network is adequate. This should cover a dealer network at least in Gauteng, Durban and the Cape. Parts should be immediately available to these dealers and self-servicing customers.

The company’s dealers should be able to provide service facilities with up to date, state of the art equipment and highly trained technicians, able to competently service and repair all your work vehicles.

2 Technical training

For those who prefer to utilise their own workshops and facilities, your manufacturer’s network should be able to offer your people specialised technical training. This will ensure that your fleet is optimally maintained. Customers in need of specialist maintenance should also be assisted.

3 Driver training

Exceptional manufacturers even provide driver training at the customer’s request and in particular for any driver who needs additional training to ensure they are obtaining the optimal output on a vehicle.

4 Warranties, customer service and remote support

FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY) Ltd who offer an excellent range of FAW work vehicles tick all of these boxes, including offering the following:

Service plans – 3 years on 5-ton vehicles; Full maintenance plans – 3 years on 8-ton vehicles. Good reliable service plans and warranties are essential.

FAW also operates through an approved and accredited dealer network, providing sales and service support across the Southern African region. After-sales agents have been specially trained to provide emergency service support to customers wherever they may need it.

We support our customers 24/7/365, whether on or off-road, with a FAW dedicated number linked to a ‘trigger number’ answered at a specialised Emergency Call Centre. If the incident can’t be immediately resolved telephonically, where required, assistance with towing is arranged.

Find a dealership near you or contact us directly to ensure that when you purchase your next work vehicle, you will have the 4 pillars of support your truck manufacturer’s network should provide! 

FAW – A SOUTH AFRICAN SUCCESS STORY

It’s hard to believe that one of South Africa’s premier range of tough, durable trucks, seemingly tailor-made to withstand our harsh conditions, has its origins in China. FAW SA is now very much an established SA brand, and its acclaimed products have already been in South Africa for more than 25 years

It is now firmly entrenched in the local transport industry landscape, but how did this come to be so? How did FAW, a Chinese brand of trucks, come to be FAW – a South African success story?

The FAW legacy

FAW SA has grown from very humble beginnings to a multimillion Rand undertaking since first being established as a local presence in South Africa. It happened through the astute ability of a very successful local businessman to ascertain the quality, strength and durability of an Asian product, which he knew would perfectly suit the requirements of the local trucking industry.

That man was the FAW local founder, Richard H. Leiter and testament to his uncanny assessment is the Jiefang, one of the first units sold in South Africa. It is still running today under its original name and it has clocked over 1.5 million kilometres. What more proof is needed of the brand’s quality and durability?

International and local expansion

Richard also saw the sense in partnering with a company that has brought together their Asian heritage and unrivalled experience in the global vehicle-manufacturing sphere. The Chinese company, the China FAW Group Corporation, is China’s oldest and largest vehicle manufacturer and is the majority shareholder in FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY).

The local expansion too has been rapid and impressive. South Africa now serves as the central hub for local expansion into the rest of Africa. These include the emerging markets of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. The idea is for FAW South Africa to ultimately be the premier supplier of a tough, reliable, competitively priced product range that never compromises on quality, to the entire sub-continent.

Local Investment

FAW has, from the outset, been committed to investment into South Africa and a responsibility towards its people. It has delivered handsomely on this promise, rapidly turning FAW vehicles into largely South African manufactured products.

The manufacturing plant, built at the cost of R600 million, is based in Coega in the Eastern Cape. It has meant employment for many South Africans and an important investment into the country’s future.

Simplicity is the key

The excellent quality and cost-efficacy of every FAW vehicle that rolls out of our manufacturing plants are due to our policy of simplifying the mechanics of our vehicles, whilst maintaining stringent international standards.

Contact us, find a dealer near you, or view our excellent product range on our website. We pride ourselves on providing value for money and this, in combination with being a world-class product, has made FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY) Ltd one of this country’s frontrunners in the truck industry. This has been the reason why FAW is a South African success story!

FAW FEEDS THE CHILDREN IN BENONI

FAW South Africa delivered stationary and other much-needed supplies to the Feed the Children Project in a rural settlement in Benoni, Johannesburg, on 13 April 2018. Project feed the children care for orphans and widows, by providing food, clothing, shelter, counseling aid, employment opportunities, and, self-empowerment training to assist them in supporting themselves.

The project currently has a fully operational book library within a shipping container at the one settlement, as well as a kitchen where they prepare and serve hot meals to children and pensioners. In addition, the project focuses on early childhood development within the rural areas and FAW SA delivered several items to the project, including plastic chairs, educational charts, clay, puzzles and general stationary. These items will go a long way in assisting with the project aimed at underprivileged and orphaned children/

The donations were gratefully received by Pastor Dumisani Madi who welcomed Minelene and Phindulo at their premises in Benoni.

HARRISMITH, FULL SALES AND SERVICE DEALER

FAW Harrismith, which opened on 4 March this year, is now a full FAW sales and service branch and part of the growing FAW South Africa dealer network.

The Free State facility was previously an independent dealer that sold FAW vehicles, as well as a number of passenger car and bakkie brands. FAW South Africa however decided to purchase the dealership outright and then invested considerably in its renewal and repurposing.

FAW Harrismith recently sold its first new truck since reopening – a FAW 6.130FL 3.5-ton with dropside body – to an existing FAW client who is the proud owner of a FAW 15.180FL, bought in 2015.

The customer’s business is located in Tshiame, an industrial area just a few kilometres out of town on the N5 towards Bethlehem, where it manufactures and installs steel silos on farms both locally and in some neighbouring African countries. The FAW 6.130FL 3.5-tonner is the perfect alternative to a bakkie and trailer which is sometimes used to get the company’s work done.

FAW Harrismith is located on the main transport route between Johannesburg and Durban on the N3 and is also within close proximity to the N5, which makes the facility a strategic service point for the FAW brand.

“A lot of FAW’s were – and continue to be – sold in Harrismith”, says FAW Harrismith branch manager, Louis de la Rouvière.

“We have had numerous enquiries already on new trucks to both new and existing customers, and the word is spreading that we are now a fully-fledged FAW dealer”.

Not only does FAW Harrismith sell new FAW trucks, but boasts a complete sales and service operation for fleet and truck owners. There is a need for truck servicing, repairs and parts to compliment our newly revamped workshop”.  He adds that the current staff complement of seven people will soon expand to nine or even 10 as demands indicates.

The revamped dealership looks after FAW customers from the Villiers toll gate all the way to the toll plaza at Van Reenen’s Pass, after which the region can also be served by FAW Pinetown.

The fully automated, online system that FAW South Africa is rolling out countrywide handles parts, sales and warranties and will be implemented shortly. He says in this regard, training is ongoing in order to provide great service to truckers in the area and to those passing through, further enhancing the customer sales and service experience.

De la Rouvière adds that his team are well versed in the sales field and all have local knowledge and experience. “Now, we are working on FAW trucks exclusively and attend to all FAW after sales services in the area, there are also FAW people on standby during the week and on weekends” he concludes.