In any country with the kind of economic issues we in South Africa face, international investment is a much-needed injection of capital. Even more importantly, if that investment includes the creation of an established manufacturing facility, which provides much-needed employment, it is to be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks to the astute assessment by successful entrepreneur Richard H. Leiter of the value of a range of Chinese trucks for our harsh and demanding conditions, just such a company was formed in 1994. More importantly, within 20 years of its foundation, a range of homegrown trucks with an international background was born.

History in the making The company formed was FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY) LTD and immediately recognising the importance of their corporate social responsibility, a manufacturing plant, built at the cost of R600 million, based in Coega in the Eastern Cape was established.

History was made on the 10th of July 2014 when the first FAW commercial vehicle, wholly made in SA, rolled off the assembly line. What a significant achievement this was for FAW South Africa and the people who had worked so hard for it.

FAW had finally realised its dream to provide the opportunity for South African’s to buy locally made Chinese origin trucks and today the plant builds an entire 14-model range of commercial vehicles sold in South Africa locally.

In 2016, FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd produced the 2 000th locally built truck at the plant, just two years after the first – a magnificent achievement which has, in turn, lead to the plant’s current capacity to produce over 5 000 trucks per annum!

No ordinary facility

This is no ordinary facility either. The 30 000m² Coega plant has state of the art training facilities and is one of few local OEMs to have built a three 000m² Truck Body-building Shop, together with an appropriate Paint Shop Facility. The paint Shop Facility is equipped with state of the art technologies to produce long-lasting truck body paint and finish.

Always putting its people first, FAW’s compliance with all health and safety, environment and quality (SHEQ) standards is rigidly practised. Designed in accordance with environmental recommendations and standards, the plant is efficient, cost-effe