FOTON ADDS TO WELL-ACCEPTED TUNLAND PICK-UP RANGE
Foton SA is expanding the range of one-ton double cab pick-ups in its recently launched Tunland range with the addition of two versions of a 4×2 model, both at exceptional value-for-money prices.
“Our initial foray into the top end of the one-ton pick-upmarket, with the Tunland 4×4, has been very well accepted by both customers and dealers alike and we are delighted that we have been able to negotiate very keen pricing on the 4×2 model, which is up to 40% less expensive than the market leader,” said Foton SA Managing Director, Brett Soso.
“I believe our pre-launch test drive with the Tunland 4×4 over the very rough and demanding Baboon’s Pass in Lesotho went a long way to showing the calibre of this new bakkie range even before it was launched and we are now building on this go-anywhere reputation with strong interest in the four-wheel drive models.
“The new 4×2 additions are not only excellent value for money, but also have high levels of comfort and safety features. The appearance and standard equipment of the two new derivatives, the Comfort, priced at R249 950 and the Lux at R269 950, now allow us to compete in the largest segment of the local double cab market.
“Later in the year we will extend the Tunland’s reach further when we introduce single an extended cab derivatives, which will make us truly competitive in the premium segment of the largest portion of the local LCV market, added Soso.
The Foton SA MD says the new, models will make the Tunland double cab range accessible to a wide range of buyers looking for a tough and dependable pick-up that can carry people, loads, tow trailers and is well suited to an active outdoor lifestyle.
The latest 4×2 models are already marketed in a number of Foton’s export markets and have also been tested extensively in South Africa over the past six months performing very well under a variety of local operating conditions.
The Tunland not only matches up or beats its premium range rivals in terms of its overall performance, but it also has one of the most spacious interiors in the premium one-ton pick-up market. Its load box dimensions are very competitive too.
The Cummins ISF engine, which powers all the Tunland models, develops 120kW of power at 3 600r/min and 360N.m of torque at 1 800r/min, is one of the few power units fitted to a pick-up in SA which complies with Euro IV emission regulations. It can operate on 500ppm diesel fuel due to the limited availability of 50ppm fuel at present.
This has meant cutting service intervals from 20 000km to 10 000km, but the company believes this is a good trade off in return for using fuel that is less expensive and readily available all over SA.
The Cummins ISF engine is economical on fuel with a combined cycle figure of 8,3l/100km, while their emission rating is only 219gm/km.
The Tunland is equipped with all the safety, convenience and security features required at the top end of the one-ton pick-up market in SA.
There are also a number of approved accessories available for the Tunland, including towbars (the vehicle has a towing capacity of 2 500kg), underbody protection plates, nudge bar, side steps, Beekmans canopy and mat sets.
The Lux model is fitted, as standard, with a rollover bar on the load box and a tonneau cover and side steps, but these items are available as accessories for the Comfort model.
“We are very conscious of the need to provide top quality sales and after-sales service to buyers in this market and for this reason we have instituted rigorous training sessions for both the technical and sales staff at our dealers. All the dealers have had to purchase the necessary special tools and diagnostic tester to ensure top quality service,” explained Soso
The Tunland is made at Foton’s ultra-modern, multi-function manufacturing plant in Beijing and will be exported in built-up form to these global destinations.
The Tunland will be sold and marketed countrywide through a growing number of Foton dealerships. Currently there are 35 outlets, with plans to extend this to 40 by the end of next year. In addition there are three approved service centres in rural areas.
The Tunland is covered by a 3-year/100 000km warranty, three-year corrosion warranty and roadside assistance for three years and a 2 year / 40 000km service plan.
There is a comprehensive range of convenience features, including air conditioning, an audio system with MP3 and USB compatibility, electric operation of the windows, with auto down on all of them and auto up and down on the driver’s windows for the Lux model. Rear park distance control is standard on the Luxury 4×2 model. The inside of the spacious load box has a protective coating, as standard equipment. (Payload rating is 925kg)
The electrically-adjustable rear view mirrors have a demister facility on the Lux model. There is an overhead sunglasses holder, six cup holders and remote opening of the fuel flap.
Seats in the Comfort model are trimmed with cloth, while those in the top end Lux model have leather trim. There is under seat storage in the rear compartment, where the jack and a fire extinguisher are housed, while a strap can be used to hold the rear seat squab upright to provide additional, secure packing space. Both models are fitted with 16” aluminium alloy wheels and there is an identical spare wheel.
The chassis-mounted passenger safety cell meets the US first class safety requirements for pick-up trucks and also meets Euro NCAP requirements. Two front airbags are standard, while the front seat belts are height adjustable and have pre-tensioners. Brakes have an ABS anti-skid system, with electronic brake distribution (EBD). The doors lock automatically as the vehicle gets into motion.
There are front and rear fog lamps, height-adjustable halogen headlamps, high level stop lamp, rear mirror and rear window demisters (Lux model only), dipping interior rear view mirror, “door open” warning system, child locks in the rear doors and a lane change feature for the direction indicators.
There is remote central locking with an alarm system and steering lock, “follow me home” lighting which stays on for 60sec. after closing the front door.
Foton SA has been involved with its source company for more than four years in the planning and development of the Tunland. This has included arranging product clinics and ensuring the vehicle is well-suited for African conditions. The local testing of 4×2 models has been ongoing for the last 6 months.
The research and development team that Foton put together for the Tunland project included not only Chinese experts, but also 50 European, American and Japanese engineers. There was significant input from more than 30 international component suppliers too, including Cummins (engine), Getrag (gearbox), Dana (rear axle), Bosch and Continental.
The vehicle development programme itself complied with the latest international procedures and deliverables according to 16 performance indices, including noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), crash testing, durability and reliability evaluations. The five phases of testing involved 120 prototype and pre-production Tunland pick-ups, which each covered more than 150 000km over rough roads, in mountainous terrain and on motorways.
The ISF 2,8-litre Cummins turbo intercooled diesel engine was used in several of the vehicles and clocked up more than a million kilometres of testing, besides being evaluated at extreme high and low temperatures and at high altitudes.
The 36-month joint development programme complied with European technical standards and the crash testing saw the Tunland achieve a four-star rating in the Chinese test procedure, which is similar to the Euro NCAP.
Aimed as it is, at the high end of the one-ton pick-up market means the Tunland has high specification levels in areas such as active and passive safety, while spaciousness and ride comfort is similar to what one enjoys in a passenger car.