Despite tough economic conditions and a highly competitive commercial vehicle market FAW South Africa enjoyed a record year of sales in 2017, with 1 200 units (including exports) finding new owners during the year.

According to Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA, the local market in 2017 has been the most competitive, since the manufacturer started operations in South Africa over 23 years ago, but states that FAW’s wide range of heavy and extra-heavy offering are well tailored to local and Southern African customer needs which contributes to their continued growth.

Notable achievements

With the introduction of several new products including, the modern 420hp FAW 33.420FT 6X4 truck tractor, the long haul JH6 truck tractor, 33-Seater bus, and the FAW 8.140 full automatic the manufacturer is geared for a busy 2018.

Among some of the manufacturer’s notable achievements in 2017, the Coega-based factory celebrated the production of its 3 000th locally built truck. The assembly plant, which was inaugurated in 2014, has maintained such high quality standards that the global corporation has recognised and awarded FAW South Africa with the “Global Distributer of the Year” award in 2017.

Positive market sentiment

Looking ahead to 2018, Hao agrees with the sentiments and predictions of the National Association of Automobile Manufactures of South Africa (Naamsa) that the market could go up to 27 000 units subject to certain provisos.

Hao also agrees that “provided South Africa manages to avoid a further credit downgrade, and provided the economic growth rate in 2018 picks up to about 1.2% from the expected 0.7% in 2017 – sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles could improve by between 2.5% to 3.0% in volume terms in 2018.”