First year, second position
The medium-weight FAW 8.140 FL range was launched in May 2015 and now, a mere year later, it is ranked second in the five-tonne truck segment.
On introduction, FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA lauded the 8.140 FL as “the lowest-cost-per-tonne” vehicle in its category. Today, the company has endeavoured for it to remain one of the most affordable and efficient trucks available in this category.
“One of the reasons for the impressive market share in such a short period has been the FAW 8.140’s proven performance and low operating cost,” says Cheng Zhang, marketing and strategy manager at FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA.
“The FAW 8.140 FL carries all the hallmarks for which FAW trucks are renowned, namely: strength, reliability, easy operation, and, most importantly, delivering on the promise of a ‘truck built in South Africa, for Africa’.”
The company’s decision to introduce a vehicle into this class was strategic on many levels; with customer demand, market opportunity and FAW’s drive to become a household name across the continent being some of the driving factors.
“Our market analysis confirmed the need for a vehicle as durable and rugged as our heavy and extra-heavy trucks, but with smaller dimensions to handle a different working environment,” says Zhang.
According to FAW, it has become imperative that the most cost-effective combination drivetrain is engineered to deliver the best levels of efficiency and durability, for a business environment where total cost of ownership is always top of mind.
The 8.140 FL was, therefore, redesigned and re-engineered to be perfectly suited to local conditions. The FAW team paid special attention to cost efficiency combined with the best possible payload and the best turnaround time, as well as quality build standards.
Imported from parent plants as semi-knocked-down kits, the cab, chassis, axles and other sub-assembly components, together with the imported Cummins engine and ZF transmission, are all assembled in FAW’s plant in Coega, Port Elizabeth.
“The FAW 8.140 FL is a ‘true-blood South African’, built locally and uniquely engineered for the African environment,” Zheng reiterates.
Given the sales statistics, it is clear that the recipe is working. For example, the Euro-3, 3,8-litre Cummins ISF engine underwent advanced thermal engineering, enabling it to run at higher operating temperatures, while reducing the size and cost of the vehicle’s cooling system.
Further, the modular architecture of the engine has proved its worth with easy access and single side servicing – all reducing operating costs.
The FAW 8.140 FL has also proved to be suitable for a wide range of applications and body configurations; including drop-side, van-bodied, tautliner, roll-back and dry-freight or insulated-body transport.
Zhang asserts: “When FAW SA launched the 8.140 FL truck range, we set the bar high, literally ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ in this segment. A year on our market position proves that the FAW brand delivers on its promise.”