FAW Passenger Cars in South Africa
GOOD RECEPTION TO FIRST RANGE OF FAW PASSENGER CARS IN SA
“The first range of FAW passenger cars and light commercials to be launched in South Africa, the Sirius, has been well received by our new dealer network and the customers who have bought them,” says the general manager for FAW South Africa’s LCV and passenger car ranges, Pedro Pereira.
“Value for money pricing is the big draw card with the buyers, as well as the versatility of these well-built vehicles, which are priced at R149 995 for the panel van and R159 995 for the Sirius people-carrier.”
These two models were introduced to the local market at the beginning of the year and are seen as strong competitors to the Toyota Avanza models, particularly in terms of price and the high standard specification level of the Sirius duo..
The initial shipment of the two Sirius models are powered by 1,3-litre engines and shortly a 1,5-litre engine will be offered as an option for those operations requiring more power.
“Now that we have our first products in the market we are looking forward to increasing the range of models we offer,” added Pereira. “The next model to arrive here will be the B-segment FAW V2 hatchback with a 1,3-litre petrol engine.
“Two V2 models are currently being tested in South Africa by Chinese engineers and the FAW SA technical team to confirm suitability under local conditions prior to public launch. The next FAW car to arrive in SA after the V2 hatch will be the Oley small sedan, which will join the line-up by mid-year.
“South Africa is seen as a very important market by FAW and we are the first to receive right-hand drive derivatives of the Sirius and upcoming V2,” explained the FAW SA senior executive.
There are already 17 FAW dealers in the existing AMH multi-franchise network in South Africa as well as three independent outlets in Witbank, Nelspruit and Shelly Beach. Pereira says he would like to expand the network to 22 dealers in the medium term to cover all major centres.
The FAW Group, of China, which was established 50 years ago, is already a global pace-setter in terms of vehicle manufacture, having made 3,6-million vehicles in 2012, 64% of them being passenger cars. This was a huge jump from the 2,6-million vehicles produced in 2011 and a quantum jump from total production of 1,5-million units in 2008.
Although FAW is a relative newcomer to the global vehicle manufacturing industry - it only started making trucks in 1956 and two years made China’s first passenger car - the company’s progress in growing production volume has been phenomenal. It now employs more than 130 000 people worldwide.
FAW is a major contract manufacturer for many of the world’s leading motor companies, including, Toyota, Mazda, Volkswagen, Audi and Hyundai, but it is also expanding its own range of vehicles at a very fast pace and now makes everything from mini vehicles to LCV’s, passenger cars, buses and trucks with total sales of its own products already exceeding seven million units.
The chairman of the FAW Group, Xu Jianyi, says the company has always pursued the principle that total customer satisfaction is the company’s No. 1 priority with a dedicated focus to meet the demands and requirements of consumers around the globe and to this end FAW has established extensive research and development facilities. This includes a specialised facility for developing electric vehicles.
Construction is currently under way on a new design, research and development facility on a 53-hectare site. The design of the facility is the work of a leading US industrial architectural firm, SmithGroup JJR, which has extensive experience in the design of facilities for the US motor industry.
FAW is also showing tangible commitment to South Africa with the erection of a new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, near Port Elizabeth. The plant will have an initial annual output of 5 000 trucks a year, with passenger cars and light commercials going into production in the future. Initial investment exceeds R600-million. The building phase is due for completion in December 2013.
“We are aware that FAW is one of a number of new brands from China and India that have been established in South Africa in the past 20 years, but we are pleased and proud that FAW is the only one that is showing that its intentions are serious as it is the only newcomer to have committed to an all-new, high volume manufacturing plant,” concluded FAW SA’s Pedro Pereira.