WHILE most bosses of big companies are worried about business in Mzansi, Jasper Hafkamp, CEO of Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa, says he is seeing positive signs in the order book for medium-sized trucks.
Because when smaller businesses order trucks, it bodes well for the local economy in the next fiscal quarter.
Ziyad Gaba, head of Fuso Trucks Southern Africa, said Fuso is ready to help these businesses grow, with four new rigids in the line-up and facelifts to five of the existing models, notably a steel bumper that takes the knocks of delivering without cracking.
“Fuso Trucks is not only committed to expanding its product offering with new models, but is also strongly committed to ensuring that the existing product offering is improved constantly to meet changing customer demands,” said Gaba.
Mpho Matseba, product and marketing manager at Fuso Southern Africa, said Fuso and Mercedes-Benz are collaborating. For example, the FI12170 is fitted with the Mercedes-Benz FIG85 transmission, while the FJ18-280 and the FJ26-280 share the same Mercedes-Benz engine and transmission.
Improvements under the hood include a viscous fan that no longer uses a spring to detect when to blow, but electronic sensors.
The trucks also have variable engine revolution controls to enable crawling on construction sites, where a differential lock is also useful to maintain grip. On open roads, cruise control is a welcome standard addition for drivers, who will also enjoy the music system with USB port and bright LED cabin lamps.
Not so welcome is a seat-belt reminder, but Fuso is serious about reminding truckers that they too need to wear seat belts.
Gaba said Fuso trucks provide vehicles that are flexible, allowing for a wide number of applications.
Matseba said the group aims for 10% market share by next year and with prices for the four new truck chassis starting at just over half a million on top of a range of buy-back offers and leasing packages, buyers are sure to help Fuso meet this aim.