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Old 12th April 2012, 11:02   #1
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Default Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

I heard that FOTON is planning to launch their trucks in India and also came across the following links (courtesy google):

Foton Motors builds plant in India -Statistics-www.chinatrucks.com

China's truck maker signs investment MOU with India - People's Daily Online

Beiqi Foton Invests Commercial Vehicle Brand in India-Statistics-www.chinatrucks.com

All the articles are quite old. Does anyone have the latest update on this development?
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Old 12th April 2012, 12:16   #2
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Default Re: FOTON Trucks in India?

The news is on. They are working in greenfield plant near Pune, Maharastra. Investment is incresed from Yuan 617m to Yuan 3bn.
This is the first plant outside china and capacity will be close to a lakh.
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Old 12th April 2012, 12:58   #3
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Default Re: FOTON Trucks in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
The news is on. They are working in greenfield plant near Pune, Maharastra. Investment is incresed from Yuan 617m to Yuan 3bn.
This is the first plant outside china and capacity will be close to a lakh.
Wasnt there some AL - Foton connection in the past for Buses ?
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Old 12th April 2012, 13:18   #4
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Default Re: FOTON Trucks in India?

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
The news is on. They are working in greenfield plant near Pune, Maharastra. Investment is incresed from Yuan 617m to Yuan 3bn.
This is the first plant outside china and capacity will be close to a lakh.
Any idea about what models etc? FOTON is the one of the biggest players in the Chinese market especially in the LCV segment.

I also heard a rumour that Suresh Kalmadi or Sharad Pawar is involved in the dealer/distribution of a Chinese truck manufacturer. I am not sure whether this is FOTON or some other brand.
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Old 12th April 2012, 20:43   #5
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Default Re: FOTON Trucks in India?

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
The news is on. They are working in greenfield plant near Pune, Maharastra. Investment is incresed from Yuan 617m to Yuan 3bn.
This is the first plant outside china and capacity will be close to a lakh.
The plant is coming up near Chakan. The plant is situated near Hyundai Construction Equipment factory in Chakan-Talegaon link road. The product details are not known at this moment. Company has already recruited senior management staff.
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Old 13th April 2012, 11:20   #6
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

I have a query! Would they be allowed to use the brand name as Foton? The reason being, Tata's internet service is called Tata Photon. I know both are in different segments but just a thought.
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Old 13th April 2012, 12:59   #7
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Default Re: FOTON Trucks in India?

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Wasnt there some AL - Foton connection in the past for Buses ?
That was for the ULE buses. That was a stop gap arrangement before AL acquired Optare, UK for enlarging their city bus portfolio.
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Old 13th April 2012, 14:11   #8
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

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I have a query! Would they be allowed to use the brand name as Foton? The reason being, Tata's internet service is called Tata Photon. I know both are in different segments but just a thought.
Its unlikely that a person looking for a truck is going to end up buying an internet pack or vice-versa on account of a similar sounding name. However, im no expert on IP, so will leave it at that.

But staying with the same theme, the question that begs to be asked is how the competitive landscape between Foton & DICV in India will shape up against the backdrop of their massive collaborative strategy in China? Consider this - In 2010 BAIC (parent to Beiqi Foton) inked a JV with Daimler trucks. The new company's (50-50 JV, me thinks) objective is to utilize Daimler’s world-class technology, especially diesel engines, to build Foton Auman trucks (see attached pic). According to the letter of intent signed total investment is about $886 million.

Slightly off topic - Daimler and BAIC also have a passenger car joint venture which produces Mercedes-Benz cars.

Coming back to the Indian CV scene, its hard to Imagine Foton competing with DICV using DICV engines in the HD segment. Perhaps Cummins India figures in Fotons powertrain strategy for India - which will kind of pitch them head to head with TML on the Prima range of HD trucks from an Engine perspective.
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Old 14th April 2012, 12:14   #9
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

I found some interesting figures and thought of sharing them especially for those who are not familiar with FOTON.

FOTON is for sure a force to reckon with!
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Old 14th April 2012, 18:34   #10
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

Hi Mates,

Of all the players from the Chinese market, I guess it had to be Foton to tap the Indian market. We bought a FOTON View 15-Seater Van for our staff transportation 2 years back here in Dubai. It was those days when the market was being flooded by Chinese automobiles. They were all flashy and looked purposeful. The sales guy who sold us the van told us that its the older version of the Toyota Hiace model that this van was modeled after and the engine is road-proven. While we saw similar vans from Hyundai (H-1), Nissan (Urvan) and the Toyota (Hiace) ,in order from the least to the costliest, we had a VFM (atleast on paper) as far as the FOTON Van was considered. While the Hyundai H-1 cost us AED81,500 for the base model, the fully loaded version of the FOTON Van cost us AED55,600 only! It even had ABS, Rear Sensors and the lot. But all that didn't last too long I should add. We regret the buying decision and would have been better off with any of the other three contenders. But that is how it had to happen. But I heard the FOTONs today are different, although I don't wish to hear another word of it for a long time now.

And incidentally, the same people who are dealers for Maruti Suzuki and Mercedes-Benz in Chennai (CARS Group), are the importers and distributors for FOTON here in the UAE. Wouldn't be surprised if they take up the dealership in Chennai at some point in the future. I hope this info helped to throw some light onto this brand FOTON.

Cherio
Champion

NOTE: Our Van is Grey, the attached pictures are illustrative only.
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Old 15th April 2012, 15:52   #11
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amtak View Post
I have a query! Would they be allowed to use the brand name as Foton? The reason being, Tata's internet service is called Tata Photon. I know both are in different segments but just a thought.
This situation may not arise. Though both the names are pronounced similarly, they are spelled differently. Tata Photon and Foton are operating in different segment also.

In the past Honda had dragged TVS Motors for using the term 'City'. But court dismissed the case and ruled in favor of TVS Motors.

Link:- Business Standard
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Old 15th April 2012, 18:31   #12
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

Hi Mates,

got the snaps of our van, FOTON View. Notice how the paint has dropped from the front bumper. So much for quality.

Cherio
Champion

Note: Dear Mods, I didn't know how to modify my previous quote (if it can be done that is) to add these snaps. Kindly do the needful.
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Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?-foton-bus-f.jpg  

Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?-foton-bus-r.jpg  

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Old 16th April 2012, 01:11   #13
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

FOTON though a BIG brand, will probably not be very successful in India, unless they prove that their trucks last long. A large part of the Indian Psyche is built on brands. Like Locks (first thought Godrej), Chocolates are still referred to as Cadbury and so on. AMW tried breaking the mould, but I know of two operators (friends) who bought AMW's (one 6 and second 2) and within a couple of years moved to TML/AL/Eicher. According to them the AMW's start giving trouble after a couple of years. While the engine and gearbox is good (Cummins/Eaton?) the cab itself starts giving problems. One chap even had the locks disengage (the ones holding the cab in place) when driving!

Unless FOTON is able to break the "Chinese hai yaar, chala to chala nahi to dukaan ke bahar warranty khatam (It is chinese buddy, warranty over as soon as you step out of the shop) " thought, I dont see it really taking off in the Indian Market. JMT.
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Old 18th April 2012, 16:20   #14
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

I think we underestimate the Chinese products too quickly.

FOTON is a manufacturer producing close to 600 thousand vehicles a year (more than the complete CV production in India)! I really don't think they could have achieved these numbers with sub-standard quality. For sure there would have been lemons but I'm pretty sure the numbers would be negligible.

For many products, the Chinese quality is way above the Indian standards!

My personal opinion is that if Foton do decide to make a strong stand in India, then things would become really interesting. TML, AL & VECV have not seen a high volume competitor as yet in the CV segment. Uptill now, the new players like Volvo, MAN, Scania etc all play in niche segments.
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Old 19th April 2012, 15:34   #15
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Default Re: Foton (Chinese) Trucks in India?

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Originally Posted by ajman28 View Post
I think we underestimate the Chinese products too quickly.

FOTON is a manufacturer producing close to 600 thousand vehicles a year (more than the complete CV production in India)! I really don't think they could have achieved these numbers with sub-standard quality. For sure there would have been lemons but I'm pretty sure the numbers would be negligible.

For many products, the Chinese quality is way above the Indian standards!

My personal opinion is that if Foton do decide to make a strong stand in India, then things would become really interesting. TML, AL & VECV have not seen a high volume competitor as yet in the CV segment. Uptill now, the new players like Volvo, MAN, Scania etc all play in niche segments.
I dont doubt the quality of the vehicles, what I am trying to say is the "Image" is wrong to start with, esp. it being a chinese product. They might make exceptional vehicles, but for the majority of the market looking for an economical long lasting vehicle, it will be a TML/AL they will look for.
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