I'm looking at possibly buying a few Foton trucks. There don't appear to be many unbiased reviews out there on the interwebs, so hopefully you guys can help.
These trucks are Chinese made, but the engines are from Cummins and Foton are in a JV with Daimler, so they can't be too rubbish - or can they?
The brand appears to be fairly new in AS, but pricing is extremely attractive - their 3 tonne trucks are about the same as a Hyundai H100 bakkie.
But all that means nothing if they break down all the time ...
Should I risk it?
It's very easy, don't just look at the truck, look at the dealer network. See how they are setup, if you mechanically inclined, take a walk through their workshop normally it's not a problem.
Get past the sales guy and see what goes on in the back ground.
Then decide, is it the vehicle for you or a good 2nd hand German/Jap truck.
Seeing you want to buy more than one, ask the dealer for references. Ask for some other companies, that have started operating fleets of Foton trucks. Then speak to those people in charge of those fleets and find out what you can expect, from the truck itself and from the dealer's & workshop's service. Even if they are fairly new here, I'm sure you won't be their launch customer.
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity.
Thanks for your input guys.
It's weird - apparently Foton are the 2nd biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the world (after MB), but I can hardly find any reviews of them on the net. They do seem to have been in the tractor business for a bit longer though, and a Google search for 'Foton tractor review' brings up a few forum entries. Seems that apart from minor niggles, most owners are quite happy with their Fotons.
The SA dealer network is not very well established yet, so I'm going to go up to Joburg next month to check out the importers, and take a look at the trucks.