Foton eyes huge growth in African market
11 July 2014, 20:37
Beijing - Beiqi Foton Motor Company,
the biggest commercial vehicle manufacturer in China in terms of sales volume,
is rapidly expanding its market in Africa, an officer of the company said
during an exclusive interview with China.org.cn on July 1.
"In 2013, Foton sold nearly 17,000 units of medium and
heavy-duty trucks and medium to large-sized buses in Africa, accounting for
about one quarter of the company’s overseas sales in this segment," said
Wan Xujun, deputy general manager of Foton’s overseas division. "Foton
takes about 20 percent of medium and heavy-duty trucks exported by Chinese
automakers to the African market."
Wan noted, "About 10 percent of more than one million medium
and heavy-duty trucks running on the roads in African countries are delivered
Foton, a Beijing-based auto manufacturer established in 1996, has
seen a rapid business expansion in Africa over the past 10 years. The continent
is now Foton’s second largest overseas market.
Foton, which began to explore the African market in2004, has
established three sales divisions in Africa, namely, Johannesburg of South
Africa, Nairobi of Kenya and Algiers of Algeria. The company now has more than
20 representative offices in major African countries, including Nigeria,
Algeria and Egypt.
"Africa is positioned as one of our major strategic markets
with high growth potential centered on commercial vehicles," Wan said.
"We have invested more than US$30 million in our East Africa Production
Base in Nairobi. The base has an annual production capacity of between 15,000
and 20,000 units."
The East Africa Production Base, a knock-down part factory built
in 2011, has played an important role in helping Foton to integrate local
resources, reduce tariff obstacles and expand the regional market. Foton is the
first Chinese automaker to build a production base in the continent.
"Foton is currently building a new development base in South
Africa, where the auto market is relatively mature," Wan said. "In
addition, the company will seek local partners for all-round cooperation,
including forging joint ventures."
Foton is striving to extend its sales network into North Africa,
apart from giving priority to South Africa and East Africa. According to
earlier media reports, Foton has entered the Algerian market by setting up a
joint venture to sell vehicles as well as offer after-sales services and
distribute auto parts. Foton will officially begin its operation in Algeria in
Since 2010, Foton has launched its business in West Africa with a
focus on the Nigerian market, which has a huge demand for commercial vehicles
in transporting its petroleum and petroleum products.
"We develop customized, cost-effective products that can
better meet the local needs for production and transportation," Wan said.
The company attaches great importance to the localization of its
products so as to better meet the local climate conditions, terrains, driving
habits and different clients’ needs, he added. .
"Foton also offers its dealers professional technical
trainings, with the aim of improving maintenance services and promoting the
company’s brand," he said.
Foton aims to achieve long-term development in Africa through
localization in the four regions. The company will expand exports from medium
and heavy-duty trucks to other commercial vehicles, as well as passenger cars.