Chinese automaker Foton has officially launched its ‘Foton Motor Brand’ in Rwanda, paving the way for sale of its Foton trucks and buses in the country.
The move by the firm, which is listed on the Shanghai Exchange Stock since 1998, is part of a plan to extend its footprint in the regional market.
The launch of the trucks and buses in Rwanda comes few days after the company launched its first Kenyan assembled trucks.
Speaking during the launch last Friday in Kigali, Foton general manager Apple Sun said that they will be selling heavy duty trucks and light duty trucks through Akagera Motors, with a view to contribute to the growth of commercial vehicle industry.
“Akagera Motors is our dealer for heavy duty trucks and light duty trucks in Rwanda, and Foton Motor will try our best to cooperate with them to actively provide quality products and services to the local customers in Rwanda,” he said, adding that they wish to make more contribution to Rwanda in the future.
Already, Foton, which is one of the leading commercial vehicle manufacturers in China, has an assembling deal at the Association of Vehicles Assemblers (AVA) in Mombasa, where they are currently assembling their trucks.
This will serve as the centre for other East African countries’ markets, company officials said. Foton hopes to sell over 3000 trucks by 2022.
In Rwanda, the company is targeting the construction, transport and mining sectors, among others.
Sun also said that the move is part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, a strategic development plan that seeks to connect the Asian nation with the rest of the world.
“Foton Motor has the will and ability to undertake more tasks and responsibilities in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, and contribute to the Sino-Africa economic and trade cooperation and collaborative development,” he said.
During the unveiling of the Foton trucks and buses, Symphorien Kamanzi, the director-general of Akagera Business Group, said that they are optimistic about Foton Motor products given their long experience in the industry.
“They operate across 110 markets in the world and their products are widely known. We have high hopes that they will also cash in on the local market. We believe that their products are of quality,” he said.
Kamanzi said that Foton Motor Group is a venture of both Mercedes Benz and the Chinese investors, which he said testifies to the quality of vehicles they manufacture.
“A German automaker (referring to Mercedes Benz) cannot accept to produce substandard products. This is why we want to assure Rwandans that these Foton commercial vehicles are of high quality,” he noted.