Chinese trucks on sale in Mozambique for first time

26 May 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 26 May – Trucks manufactured in China began to be sold for the first time in Mozambique, by a business developed by a local company which plans to turn them into the highest-selling cargo vehicles in the country.

The trucks, of the JAC brand, are manufactured in Hefei, Anhui province, the Jianghuai Automobile Co, a company with 7,000 workers and which claims to lead in truck sales in China.

The company’s production line in Hefei has the capacity to produce 200,000 vehicles per year and one of its models was chosen as the best commercial vehicle by the Association of Automobile Builders of China.

It was this experience as well as low sale prices of JAC trucks, which attracted Jawed Ibrahim, the head of Shanghai Comercial which, since the beginning of the year, introduced the JAC trucks to Mozambique.

“If China has already sent men into space, why shouldn’t it produce good trucks, and especially at cheap prices for a poor market like ours?” asked Ibrahim, who wants to place JAC trucks in all the country’s provinces.

In Mozambique, the Chinese trucks have second-hand Japanese cargo trucks as their greatest competition, but Ibrahim told Macauhub that the price factor would help to overcome the competition.

The prices of the trucks vary between US$11,500 for 1.3-ton vehicles and US$18,000 for 5-ton vehicles, figures that are substantially below that of the competition and which, according to Ibrahim, are the “most appropriate for a third-world market, such as Mozambique.”

Cautiously, the businessman, who emigrated form Pakistan to Mozambique in 1978 and whose family has more than 80 stores in the country, avoided talking about sales figures since January, but said he had just finished making his third order to the Anhui factory.

Along with the trucks, which can already be seen on the streets of Maputo, now 21-seater mini-buses and forklift trucks will be imported, also produced by JAC.

The production of right-hand drive JAC trucks began in 2003, allowing the company to increase exports to new countries where, like Mozambique, they drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Currently, JAC exports to more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Turkey, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Southeast Asian markets. (macauhub)