MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese automaker Foton on Wednesday officially launched its first assembled trucks in Kenya as it moves to cement its footprint in the local market.
Sun Qingzhong, General Manager of Foton Motor Kenya Ltd., said in Mombasa that the company which has been pushing for the globalization of its brands, has set a long-term strategic plan in Kenya and Africa.
Sun said the company will be assembling its vehicles at Association of Vehicles Assemblers (AVA) plant in Miritini, west of Mombasa.
"Today, Foton Motor is accelerating the development of localization in Kenya. With the off-line of first truck from AVA, Foton Motors has realized the localization of its main value chain officially today," said Sun.
He said Foton is committed to localization, by which they are committed to providing local customers with high value products.
The Chinese automaker will also provide spare parts, after-sale services and at the same time increase local taxation and create more job opportunities, contribute to the development of local economy.
"On broader basis, Foton eyes to penetrate into East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Free Trade Zone through its assembly plant located in Kenya in the near future," Sun said.
He said Foton partnership with AVA is very strategic. AVA is one of the three largest assembly plants in Kenya, also assembling for some internationally renowned brands such as Toyota, Scania and others.
"By cooperation with AVA, we aim to reduce the cost, meanwhile, ensure the quality and craftsmanship of the assembled products to reach the same level with domestic factories," said Sun.
Foton has especially dispatched technical experts group to AVA and shipped some equipment from China to optimize and upgrade the assembly line of AVA.
Sun said Foton is determined to produce satisfactory products and enhance core competitiveness.
"At present, our KD products start from heavy duty trucks, gradually it will extend to full range of products such as light trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)," he said.
Foton's motor vehicle brands that include heavy commercial trucks, buses and pickups have higher brand recognition in Kenya since the company opened its operations in the country in 2012.
Statistics from the company showed, since 2005, Foton has sold about 95,000 commercial vehicles to Africa, among which some 4,000 were sold to Kenya customers.