Fuso Trucks is a part of Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa and it is hard not to get caught up by the infectious enthusiasm of chief executive Jasper Hafkamp, who feels the truck market will pick up in the remaining months of this year.
“Our goal is to increase sales to claim a 10% share of the market by the end of 2020,” he says. “I am confident sales will pick up in the next 12 months and we are seeing growth in the various African regions, albeit off a small base.”
The new models are the FI12-170, the FJ18-280S (short wheelbase), the FJ18-280L (long wheelbase) and the FJ26-280.
“Fuso Trucks is not only committed to expanding its product offering with new models, but it is also strongly committed to ensuring the existing product offering is constantly improved to meet changing customer demands,” says Ziyad Gaba, Head of Fuso Trucks Southern Africa.
Collaboration between Fuso and Mercedes-Benz adds further dimension to their shared technologies. For example, the FI12170 is fitted with the Mercedes-Benz FIG85 transmission, while the FJ18-280 and the FJ26-280 share the same Mercedes-Benz engine and transmission.
With the introduction of the new models, Fuso has introduced a number of fresh features including an E-viscous fan with intermittent operation that improves fuel efficiency by reducing the load on the engine.
For the ease of operation of the driver there is a differential lock buzzer, cruise control, a solar windshield that prevents excess sunlight and avoids increase in cabin temperature along with additional cabin roof storage provides more space for the driver's convenience.
Also new as a standard item is a music system with USB port and FM radio, while LED lamps have been installed in the cabin for better illumination and improved aesthetics. It is also a safer option to have a bright interior during night-time stops.
On the outside, the bumper is coloured similar to the cab with a grey coloured fender and footstep and for better visibility during night-time driving the new dual chamber headlamp with daytime running lights (DRL) also adds to further improved safety.
Ziyad Gaba says: “We continue to grow in the various market segments in which we compete as a result of constantly being in close contact with our customers. This means we know one of the major challenges that customers face is the inherent complexity of operating in the current transport industry.
“Simplicity applies to providing vehicles that are flexible, allowing for a wide number of applications. Superior trucks are crucial to all the market segments.
“Customers also demand we provide them with simply better trucks in order to achieve their objectives.”
Currently, all the new trucks are driven through six-speed manual gearboxes but Gaba confirmed Fuso was looking into the possibility of introducing an automatic option at a later stage.
“These new models underwent more than 50 000 kilometres of testing in local conditions as part of the global Fuso test programme,” he says.