Foton group EVP bullish on further growth in PH
The 2018 dealers’ appreciation night of the United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI), also known as Foton Philippines, was extra special because of the presence of Foton Group EVP Ma Rentao and other high-ranking execs from China.
Reflecting the brand’s impressive progress in the Philippine market when UAAGI made the 2017 top 10 list of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi), Rentao said that the Foton Group performed well internationally by selling 600,000 vehicles worldwide last year.
Eighty nine percent of the 600,000 units were sold in China while 11 percent were exported, Rentao revealed, allowing the Foton Group to retain its position as the No. 1 manufacturer and seller of Chinese commercial vehicles.
At the same time, Foton continued growing in overseas markets like Vietnam, Australia and Chile and achieved a breakthrough in new markets such as Thailand, Russia and Malaysia.
Also in 2017, Foton formed a joint venture with Germany ZF in Zhejiang province, China for the production of high-end transmissions aside from maintaining its joint ventures with Cummins and Daimler Trucks.
Cummins diesel engines have powered Foton vehicles ever since March 2006, when Foton Motor and the American company Cummins, Inc. created a joint venture called Beijing Cummins Engine Company for the production of light duty 2.8 and 3.8-liter diesel engines.
Foton passenger vehicles are equipped with Euro 4-compliant ISF 2.8 Cummins diesel engines while light duty trucks have shifted to Euro 4-compliant OBD electronic controlled ECUs with common rail direct injection (CRDi).
These comprise Foton’s Blue Energy Euro 4 lineup that UAAGI president/CEO Rommel Sytin said would be launched next month at the Mega Tent in Quezon City.
The joint venture contract with Daimler AG was signed in July 2010 in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Wen Jibao.
At the signing ceremony, Foton Motor president/CEO Wang Jingyu said that his company plans to use Daimler Trucks’ technological expertise to further expand commercial vehicle activities.
He noted that it marks Foton Motor’s first step towards global businesses and collaborations.
Going back to the Foton PH dealers’ appreciation night, Rentao said that the development of new products and the upgrading of current models are the main driving force behind Foton’s growth.
Foton plans to launch the new platform Gratour multipurpose vehicle, M4 light duty trucks and EST heavy duty trucks this 2018.
At the beginning of 2020, Rentao said, the new View Series and new Thunder pickup will be launched.
For 2020, the Foton Group EVP set a sales target of 126,000 for the overseas market.
“We will hold firm to the operating principles of ’focus on the core market, create business value, and achieve progressive growth,’” Rentao promised.
In fact, Southeast Asia is the core area of Foton’s overseas business and accounts for 50 percent of overseas sales, Rentao added.
“With a growing Philippine economy, we believe the automotive market will increase faster,” Rentao predicted. “In 2018, the Foton Group will continue to give all-out support to the Philippine market for our customers by providing more professional service, efficient spare parts supply, high quality products and OTD system application.”
Concluding, Rentao gave a bullish outlook for the 11-year partnership of UAAGI with the Foton Group and pledged to strengthen cooperation in the future.