UD Trucks launches new Quon in South Africa
UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) recently launched a new Quon range of trucks in the South African market. UD Trucks hopes that the new launch will increase the company’s share of the extra-heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV) market to more than 12% in the short term. The company expects to expand the market share to 15 to 16% in the long term. UDTSA’s market share in the EHCV market was 9.4% in 2011, down from 13.1% in 2008. UDTSA is responsible for UD Trucks’ exports into 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in both right- and left-hand drive variants.
As per an analysis by UD Trucks, UDTSA has seen its share of the fast-growing EHCV market shrink over the last few years as the previous Quon range proved not “quite right” for the local market. One of the product weaknesses was that the Japanese brand could not offer the increasingly popular automated manual transmission as an option to customers.
The South African EHCV market has grown from 6,432 units, in 2009, to more than 11,500 units, in 2011. UDTSA anticipates this section of the truck market to reach 12,932 units in 2012 – a forecasted growth of 10.96%.
The new Quon will be UDTSA’s premium product, and will be available in 14 variants in Southern Africa Customs Union markets, and in 61 variants in other African markets. The range will also now top out at 490 hp, and no longer 460 hp. The market is trending to the heavy-duty category of trucks, and UD Trucks sees a big demand in that segment. From 2009 to 2011, 12,775 trucks were sold in South Africa in the heavy duty category of 420 hp and upwards.
The Quon models sold in other parts of Africa will not have as much horse power as the top Quon model in South Africa, however, the range will be limited to 440 hp, and will feature only manual transmissions. It will be a more basic vehicle, with a lot of optional extras available.
UDTSA hopes to clinch some added sales in its African export markets through the new Quon. So far, UD Trucks did not have the right vehicle to offer to the export territories. With Quon, UD Trucks hopes to solve the problem.
With Quon – a much more competitive product – UD Trucks aims to sell 1,500 units this year, under phased introduction. The company used to sell about 1200 units a year till 2011.
All new Quon trucks sold from March will be accompanied by UD Trucks’ new Managed Maintenance program. Through Managed Maintenance, UD Trucks provides complete management and supervision of all repairs and service costs on behalf of its customers. Unlike a maintenance contract, it is more of a program to ensure customers are not overcharged and that no unnecessary work is done on their vehicles.
More Power, Lower Costs
The new Quon range features the Euro 3, GH13 series engine, which is a 13-litre, in-line 6-cylinder turbo-intercooled engine. As there is only one engine range in the series, fewer parts are required for stockholding purposes, resulting in more cost savings for customers. The unit also boasts a flat torque curve, which means less engine fatigue, particularly during uphill hauls.
Improvements in New Quon Model
Numerous enhancements have been made to the Quon range’s of trucks in engine fuel efficiency, brakes, transmission, multifunctional display, chassis packaging, cruise control and other safety features. UD Trucks has also improved the mass ratings of its extra heavy vehicles.
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