FAW SA ROLLS OUT ITS 4,000TH VEHICLE
Four-year old assembly plant has become the bedrock for further investments in the Eastern Cape
FAW SA’s Coega assembly plant recently celebrated the production milestone of assembling the 4,000th FAW in SA. With a presence in SA dating 24 years, FAW’s assembly plant has become the bedrock for further investments in the Eastern Cape.
Inaugurated in July 2014, the plant was the first large-scale investment made by a Chinese company in the region. It is still one of the largest foreign direct investments made in Coega.
FAW’s R600m plant currently provides employment for 120 permanent staff, helping to address the high unemployment rate in the Eastern Cape province.
Some 951 training hours have been completed year-todate, with the training provided focusing on health and safety as well as skills development.
Several health and safety practices are enforced at the site, and since the plant’s opening in 2014 the facility reports an enviable health and safety record. Each assembly station has been ergonomically designed for optimum work efficiency to ensure optimum employee wellbeing.
“No fewer than 89 innovations and improvements have been implemented at the plant in recent years with the majority of these innovations and improvements proposed by the assembly staff,” says a company spokesperson.
Furthermore, FAW SA has incorporated numerous policies and procedures to ensure effective waste management at the plant, and operates according to the environmental standards put into place by the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).
The plant has increased production to include almost all FAW commercial vehicles sold in the sub-Saharan region today. It has produced 1,061 vehicles in the past 13 months alone (averaging 81 vehicles a month), which are either sold locally or exported into southern Africa.
“FAW SA has a rigid quality control procedure all vehicles must pass before they are given the green light. Seven quality check-points are in place to ensure that all vehicles that roll off the production line are of the highest build quality,” the spokesperson explains.
To date, 16 different models have been assembled at the Coega plant, ranging from the 8.140 to the FAW 33.420FT truck tractor, the newest model in the company’s extra-heavy commercial vehicle range and the successor to the popular FAW 28.380FT.
Total FAW exports reached 159 units in 2016, which rose to 212 units in 2017, establishing FAW as the second largest commercial vehicle exporter in SA. Customer demand for locally built FAW trucks has increased substantially in the past three years and the brand set a new total sales record in 2017, despite the tough economic environment.
FAW was SA’s most improved commercial vehicle brand for 2018, according to the annual National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Satisfaction Index survey that was conducted by the independent market research firm, Lightstone.
A total of 33 independently researched brands participated in the 2018 survey and the results were divided into a number of key focus areas — overall dealer satisfaction; communication and relationships; customer focus; CSI programme; vehicle range; training; parts; goodwill; policy claims and warranty and labour rates categories.
As part of its social responsibility commitment, FAW, together with the Coega Development Corporation, recently donated about 400 pairs of school shoes to the Coega Primary School in Wells Estate, Port Elizabeth.
CUSTOMER DEMAND FOR LOCALLY BUILT FAW TRUCKS HAS INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY IN THE PAST THREE YEARS THE BRAND SET A NEW TOTAL SALES RECORD IN 2017, DESPITE THE TOUGH ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT