Here comes Dongfeng

By Charles E. Buban Philippine Daily Inquirer October 20,2019
Here comes Dongfeng

The Captain N is a six-wheeler truck powered by a Nissan 3.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel CRDi engine.

Dongfeng Motor Corp., one of China’s top five automakers, announced last year its plan to more than double its overseas sales in the next three years, aiming to seize larger market share in the emerging economies.

The recent addition of the Philippines to its expanding global network should help Donfeng achieve its ambitious goal.

Amid the slowdown of auto sales in China in recent years, Dongfeng, headquartered in central Chinese city of Wuhan, is now looking to overseas markets for its next growth opportunities.

Just last year, Dongfeng and its local partner in Indonesia set up a plant capable of producing 50,000 mini trucks a year, a move seen to compete with Japanese automakers that dominate the Southeast Asian markets.

Here comes Dongfeng

Serving as the biggest and most powerful truck in Dongfeng’s lineup is the 12-wheeler K37F dump truck powered by a Renault 11.12-liter, six cylinder, CRDi turbo-diesel engine.

“By 2020, Dongfeng plans to build another 100 sales and service outlets overseas, mostly in countries along the Belt and Road. Indeed, developing overseas business is an important strategy for Dongfeng, which aims to become a world-class player. And we want the Philippines to be one of its strong markets,” informed Cresencio Vincent Fernandez Jr., president of Pilipinas Autogroup, the distributor of Dongfeng brand of vehicles in the Philippines.

During Thursday’s soft opening of Dongfeng’s first-ever dealership in the country—the Agrani Motors located along Km. 17 Ortigas Avenue Extension in Cainta—David Coyukiat, chair of Pilipinas
Autogroup said the Philippines is in a state of rapid development.

Move economy forward

“Developing nations like the Philippines, need a lot of transport and logistics to move its economy forward, and it is here where Dongfeng vehicles can greatly contribute to various businesses and the economy. In addition, Pilipinas Autogroup is committed to establish more Dongfeng dealerships in the coming months, in order to serve vehicle and after sales needs of its customers,” he said during the ceremony also graced by Cainta Mayor, Johnielle Keith “Kit” Pasion Nieto.

During the first and second quarters of this year, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that construction activity grew by 10.4 percent and 8 percent, respectively. That’s 39,762 approved building permits issued in the first quarter, and another 43,394 in the second quarter.

With these positive developments in the country, Pilipinas Autogroup is confident their lineup of trucks would become very much in demand.

A wide variety of Dongfeng commercial vehicles is offered ranging from 4-wheeler, 6-wheeler, 10-wheeler cargo trucks, mini bus, tractor heads, dump trucks, and cement mixers:
• Captain E 12ft, light-duty truck at P970,000
• Captain N 14ft, light-duty truck at P1.195 million/16ft version at P1.295 million
• Captain D9 24ft, light-duty truck at P1.88 million
• KD6Z 24ft, cargo truck at P2.3 million
• K04U 32ft, cargo truck at P3.17 million
• KW46 6-wheeler, tractor head at P2.805 million
• TW37 10-wheeler, tractor head at P3.13 million
• K23W 10-wheeler, dump truck at P3.66 million
• K37F 12-wheeler, dump truck at P4.27 million
• K47H 10 m3 capacity, concrete mixer truck at P4.1 million
• Mini Bus, 32+1-seater at P2.8 million

Why Dongfeng?

“Dongfeng is one of the two original auto manufacturers established by the Chinese government,” related Arthur Balmadrid, VP and GM of Pilipinas Autogroup.

Here comes Dongfeng

Dongfeng’s KD6Z 24ft cargo truck can carry 12,700kg worth of payload, and is powered by a Cummins 6.7-liter, six-cylinder CRDi turbo-diesel engine.

Here comes Dongfeng

Dongfeng’s 10-wheeler TW37 tractor head (above) and its 6-wheeler version (KW46) are both powered by a Bosch 9.5-liter, six-cylinder, CRDi turbo-diesel engine.

Still known as the Second Automobile Works—the nomenclature of the prevailing proletariat social system during its establishment in 1969—Dongfeng started as a maker of medium- and heavy-duty trucks to aid China’s rapid industrialization.

Dongfeng’s transformation began in the 1980s, a period when China invited foreign automakers to assemble in China, but with the requirement to operate via joint ventures. For foreign carmakers, Dongfeng was an attractive partner given its size, sales network, labor force, market access and its state-owned enterprise pedigree.

It’s first venture was finally forged in 1992 with the French automotive group PSA Peugeot-Citroen. This was followed by tie ups with South Korea’s Kia Motors, Sweden’s Volvo trucks, and Japan’s Nissan Motor and Honda Motor.

“As you can see, Dongfeng’s technological know-how is further improved by these partnerships, not only in engine technology and design, but also in terms of safety and environmental impact,” said Balmadrid.

From heavy trucks, Dongfeng started to build minivans to serve China’s growing number of private entrepreneurs. Soon, the brand was also producing hatchbacks, compact cars and sedans, but with foreign badges to serve China’s middle-income households.

“In its 50-year history, Dongfeng has become an industrial leader. Today, Dongfeng boasts of total assets of almost $34 billion and employees of 176,000 people. The brand now offers a full range of commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, new-energy vehicles, engines, auto parts and components, and other automotive-related businesses,” related George Blaylock, managing director of Pilipinas Autogroup.

Here comes Dongfeng

Serving as the lightest commercial vehicle in Dongfeng’s lineup, the Captain E is powered by an Isuzu-derived 2.8-liter, turbo-diesel CRDi engine.

He said Pilipinas Autogroup might also bring Dongfeng’s passenger vehicles that include sedan, SUV, MPV, mini car as well as its new-energy vehicles of various types—hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Looking ahead, Dongfeng intends to attain its vision to be a global leader in automotive development and maker of models that run on new energy sources. Dongfeng, in the coming years, wants to raise its global competitiveness and be one of the respected automotive brands.

Here in the Philippines, expect Dongfeng and Pilipinas Autogroup to be in more locations: Aside from Cainta and Marcos Highway, Dongfeng would soon be in Marikina, Pampanga, Isabela, Cebu and Davao.

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