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Fo­ton re-launches Au­mark in New Zealand; light-duty truck reg­is­tra­tions for Au­gust.

FO­TON IS BACK ON THE NEW ZEALAND LIGHT-DUTY TRUCK MAR­KET with a Euro 5 ver­sion of the Au­mark.

Fo­ton New Zealand is mar­ket­ing three mod­els. One is avail­able in two forms, one of which can be driven on a car li­cence.

The mid-range 1079 has a GVM of 5995kg which means it can be driven on a car li­cence or it can be reg­is­tered with a 6500kg GVM that al­lows added load ca­pac­ity. The two other trucks are the en­try-level 1051 and the BJ1051. The 1051 has a GVM of 5650kg and a rec­om­mended re­tail price of $29,715 plus GST.

The BJ1051 is avail­able work-ready with a load tray, and is priced from $29,995 plus GST.

The third model is the larger BJ1099 with a 8995kg limit which places it at the top end of the RUC bracket of six to nine tonnes. It has full air brak­ing and a RRP of $39,165 plus GST. All Au­marks are pow­ered by Cum­mins ISF en­gines, a unit de­vel­oped spe­cially by the Amer­i­can engine-maker for the Chi­nese truck man­u­fac­turer.

The 1051 uses the 2.8-litre ISF that is also found in the Fo­ton Tun­land ute and View CS2 van. In the Au­mark it de­vel­ops 110kw of max­i­mum power and 360Nm of peak torque.

The 1079 and the 1099 use a 3.8-litre ver­sion of the ISF, and all of the Au­marks run Zf-de­signed man­ual gear­boxes and Bosch elec­tron­ics.

The 3.8 Cum­mins pro­duces 115kw of power and a use­ful 500Nm of torque.

Au­mark trucks are mar­keted by Fo­ton NZ, a di­vi­sion of Hamilton’s Eb­bett Group.

Eb­bett bought the Fo­ton dis­trib­u­tor­ship from pre­vi­ous im­porter, Neville Crich­ton’s Ateco Group last Novem­ber.

Eb­bett also took over dis­tri­bu­tion of Fo­ton Tun­land utes from Ateco; it al­ready had the Fo­ton CS2 van, though that ve­hi­cle’s fu­ture in NZ is un­cer­tain as it doesn’t have the manda­tory elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

Fo­ton NZ has been pre­par­ing for the Au­mark’s re-launch over the past 10 months, says CEO Roger Jory. That in­volved “get­ting the spec that’s right for NZ,” par­tic­u­larly the GVMS best-suited to the lo­cal mar­ket.

Ateco sold 55 Au­marks in 2014, but that dropped to 18 in 2015 and the same num­ber last year.

But Jory is up­beat about the Au­mark’s fu­ture here. “We’ve got a good op­por­tu­nity in the mar­ket­place. We’re se­ri­ous about the busi­ness.”

He says the Au­mark has been de­scribed as “just what a truck should be – solid, re­li­able, good value and does what it says it does,” He sees it as a “great op­tion” that is “com­pelling value…”

Cur­rently there are three Au­mark deal­ers: Eb­bett Fo­ton in Hamilton, Just Trucks in Auck­land and Trucks NZ in Christchurch. Jory says two more could be added by the end of the year.

Fo­ton’s sharply-priced Au­mark light- and medium-duty truck re­turns to the NZ mar­ket in Euro 5 form.

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