It’s hard to believe that one of South Africa’s premier range of tough, durable trucks, seemingly tailor-made to withstand our harsh conditions, has its origins in China. FAW SA is now very much an established SA brand, and its acclaimed products have already been in South Africa for more than 25 years
It is now firmly entrenched in the local transport industry landscape, but how did this come to be so? How did FAW, a Chinese brand of trucks, come to be FAW – a South African success story?
The FAW legacy
FAW SA has grown from very humble beginnings to a multimillion Rand undertaking since first being established as a local presence in South Africa. It happened through the astute ability of a very successful local businessman to ascertain the quality, strength and durability of an Asian product, which he knew would perfectly suit the requirements of the local trucking industry.
That man was the FAW local founder, Richard H. Leiter and testament to his uncanny assessment is the Jiefang, one of the first units sold in South Africa. It is still running today under its original name and it has clocked over 1.5 million kilometres. What more proof is needed of the brand’s quality and durability?
International and local expansion
Richard also saw the sense in partnering with a company that has brought together their Asian heritage and unrivalled experience in the global vehicle-manufacturing sphere. The Chinese company, the China FAW Group Corporation, is China’s oldest and largest vehicle manufacturer and is the majority shareholder in FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY).
The local expansion too has been rapid and impressive. South Africa now serves as the central hub for local expansion into the rest of Africa. These include the emerging markets of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. The idea is for FAW South Africa to ultimately be the premier supplier of a tough, reliable, competitively priced product range that never compromises on quality, to the entire sub-continent.
FAW has, from the outset, been committed to investment into South Africa and a responsibility towards its people. It has delivered handsomely on this promise, rapidly turning FAW vehicles into largely South African manufactured products.
The manufacturing plant, built at the cost of R600 million, is based in Coega in the Eastern Cape. It has meant employment for many South Africans and an important investment into the country’s future.
Simplicity is the key
The excellent quality and cost-efficacy of every FAW vehicle that rolls out of our manufacturing plants are due to our policy of simplifying the mechanics of our vehicles, whilst maintaining stringent international standards.