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Foton encouraged by jump in their commercial sales

FOTON is flying in New Zealand, with the Chinese commercial vehicle maker recording its best month in March.

Sales were up 66.7 percent over March last year and so far this year sales of the Tunland Ute are up 37.3 percent over the same period last year.

“The March sales figures are great but it’s that year to date figure that is more significant as it shows that Foton Tunland sales in New Zealand are strong and accelerating,” says David Smitherman, chief executive of New Zealand Foton importer, Ateco Automotive.

“The success is being driven by a combination of a three-model range that meets the needs of a majority of ute users, the reputation and ability of the Cummins engine and a price and equipment package that is highly competitive.”

Ateco Automotive took over distribution of Foton light commercial vehicles in 2014 and the company has consistently grown sales ever since, with the average monthly sales rate climbing from 13 a month under the previous distributor to 57 a month so far this year.

The Foton Ute range for New Zealand consists of three models — a double cab ute, a single cab wellside and a single cab chassis, ideal not just for tray tops but also a variety of uses. All versions are powered by a 2.8 litre engine provided by diesel and commercial application experts Cummins.

The engine is a 2.8 litre common rail turbo diesel that produces 120 kW, a flat torque curve of 360 Nm between 1800 to 3000 rpm and achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of 8.3 l/100 km across the range.

The Tunland range also features a Getrag transmission, Bosch electronics and ABS, a Dana differential and axles and, in the four-wheel-drive versions, a Borg Warner transfer case and Dana differential.

The Foton range offers a choice of two or four-wheel- drive in the dual cab, standard four-wheel-drive in the single cab chassis and the single cab wellside is two-wheel-drive.

The Tunland range has a one tonne payload and a two and a half tonne braked towing capacity along with a substantial cargo area and a rugged tray liner on the 4x4. The 4x4 versions are competent off road performers with an unladen ground clearance of 200mm, approach and departure angles of 28 and 23 degrees, a dual range transmission and rear limited slip differential.

All versions of the Foton Tunland range come with air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, a modern multi-input Bluetooth streaming four-speaker sound system, air bags, ABS brakes, and engine immobiliser.

The double cab ute adds alloy wheels, 16 inch for the 4x2 and 17 inch for the 4x4. Cruise control is standard on the wellside, single cab chassis and the four-wheel-drive version of the double cab.

The Foton Tunland Double Cab 4x4 is completed with a range of luxury touches, such as leather trimmed seat facings, power mirrors with defrost, side steps, tyre pressure monitoring system and both versions of the double cab have an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and the three place rear seat flips up for extra space.

Special pricing available now for the Foton Tunland range opens at $19,991 plus GST and on-road costs for both the single cab chassis and the single cab wellside. The two-wheel-drive double cab is positioned at $24,339 plus GST and on road costs, a price it shares with the four-wheel-drive version of the single cab chassis.

Topping the range at $28,686 plus GST and on road costs is the four-wheel-drive Foton Tunland Double Cab.

The Foton Tunland range is backed by a comprehensive three year/100,000 kilometre warranty and the security of a three-year roadside assistance programme, backed by a dedicated dealer group covering New Zealand from Whangarei in the north to Invercargill in the south.