Engineering News FAW hopes to start building SA car plant in 2015

24 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Engineering News FAW hopes to start building SA car plant in 2015 отключены
FAW electric vehicles

FAW hopes to start building SA car plant in 2015

Published 09 Jul 13 By: Irma Venter

The Sirius seven-seater

The FAW truck plant, currently under construction in the Eastern Cape, should start vehicle assembly in April or May next year, says FAW trucks and passenger cars Africa project leader Cheng Zhang .

Construction of the plant, with an initial output of roughly 5 000 units a year, should be completed by the end of the year.

The Chinese company plans to export the trucks, in both right-hand- and left-hand-drive derivatives, to the rest of Africa, while also supplying the South African market from the local plant.

Zhang says the Fortune 500, State-owned FAW is well aware that there “are challenges in manufacturing in South Africa, such as labour issues”, but continues to see the country as a favourable production base for the African continent.

He adds that South Africa is a good market in which to learn about the demands placed on its products, as it “is a fair market which has no trade protection”, while it also has … consumers with sophisticated tastes.

Another challenge the local plant will face is that South Africa and other African markets have quite varying vehicle standards.

If all goes well with truck production in South Africa, FAW plans to start construction of a passenger car plant in 2015, says Zhang.

Production from this plant will also be distributed locally, as well as exported to Africa. Zhang says it is also possible to export both FAW trucks and passenger cars to Australia.

He adds that FAW is in South Africa “to stay”, and that the Chinese government has committed to “making the South African plant work”.

The first FAW passenger car made its local debut earlier this year. The Sirius was introduced as a seven-seater multipurpose vehicle, as well as a panel van.

Both these variants are powered by a 1.3 l petrol engine developing 67 kW of power and 120 Nm of torque.

In July, FAW added a 1.5 l unit, with 75 kW of power and 140 Nm of torque.

Transmission on the Sirius is a five-speed manual gearbox and drive is through the rear wheels.

Load capacity for the two models is 525 kg for the seven-seater (including occupants and load) and 545 kg for the panel van (including driver, passenger and load).

The panel van can tow an unbraked trailer of 480 kg and the 7-seater is rated at 600 kg. The loading space in the panel van is 1 670 mm long, 1 270 mm wide and 1 070 mm high.

Standard specifications include alloy wheels, air-conditioning, dual airbags, antilock braking system brakes with electronic brake distribution, remote control central locking, power steering, electric windows, audio system consisting of a radio with MP3 player and USB port, remote keyless entry, front and rear fog lamps, alarm immobiliser and headlamp levelling.

FAW electric vehicles

The Sirius is covered by a three-year/100 000 km factory warranty, roadside assistance for a year and a four-year/60 000 km service plan.

Pricing for the range starts at R149 995.

The vehicle is imported and distributed by FAW South Africa (SA) light commercial and passenger vehicles, which is owned by the local Imperial group.

The FAW truck operation in South Africa is owned by FAW, in China.

Should FAW start production of passenger cars in South Africa, FAW SA light commercial and passenger vehicles, as the local distributor, would source its vehicles locally, and without the 25% import duties currently valid on the imported vehicles, says GM Pedro Pereira .

“We have a national network of 21 dealers. Most of our dealers are multifranchise Imperial facilities,” he adds. “We are currently in talks with several interested parties and expect to open a few more FAW outlets shortly.”

The introduction of the 1.5 l Sirius model will be followed later this year by the launch of the small V2 1.3 l hatchback, probably priced at under R100 000.

A sports-utility vehicle is set to make its debut early in 2014, with a medium and slightly bigger sedan to follow in the same year.

Late 2014 will see the introduction of a single- and double-cab pick-up range, says Pereira.

“Then we may start to become a really big player in the local market.”

FAW electric vehicles
FAW electric vehicles

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