Jose Armenta
Director General
FOTON México
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View from the Top

FOTON, Paving The Way to Becoming a Premium Chinese Brand

By Andrea Villar | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 06:00

Q: How does FOTON ensure it remains in a flexible position to tackle new opportunities in the Mexican market?

A: In 2019, FOTON made two very important volume sales to Mexican companies. Six hundred units were acquired by CEMEX and 500 units by Seguridad Alimentaria Mexicana (SEGALMEX). These two operations laid the foundations for our headquarters in China and our Mexican investors to take on the task of creating this new company, FOTON México.

Q: As a foreign brand, what has been the biggest challenge FOTON has faced in the Mexican market?

A: The biggest challenge has been creating a successful distribution network dedicated to the total support of our clients through our FOTON Total Care Program, which focuses on providing an expedited aftersales service and guaranteeing the immediate availability of spare parts.

However, we also have had great achievements, such as successfully completing the assembly and manufacturing of the 500 units requested by SEGALMEX. Now, we will dedicate our plant located in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, to the production of units for the domestic market. There is also the possibility of investing in a larger plant to assemble a greater volume of units to cover other export markets, such as all of Latin America.

Q: How will USMCA influence your operations in the country? What are your strategies to cope with these challenges?

A: Environmental regulations will be the main challenge because we are a little behind compared to the US and Canada. Mexico is in the transition to Euro V and Euro VI, while those countries are already in EPA10.

Q: What security and efficiency systems does FOTON offer to Mexican users?

A: We have a wide range of products for different applications, ranging from 1.5-ton pickups to tractor-trailers, van-type units, cargo for secondary and midrange distribution, diesel and natural gas buses, as well as 100 percent electric vehicles. All our vehicles are completely certified in all standards, whether European, American or Asian. Our units have the latest generation active and passive safety systems, including airbags, proximity sensors, collapsible steering columns and deformable steering wheels.

We are sure that with our product portfolio, featuring the most advanced technology, natural gas engines or 100 percent electric drivetrains, our clients will have greater efficiency in the delivery of their products and services.

Q: What are FOTON México’s measures regarding NOM-012 and NOM-044?

A: We comply with these standards, otherwise we would not be able to market our products in Mexico. We even go beyond compliance, as we offer vehicles with natural gas and electric technology with zero polluting emissions.

In recent months, President of ANPACT Miguel Elizalde has said that the government requires a new strategy for the application of NOM-044 regarding the manufacturing and distribution of new commercial vehicles. Another element that could facilitate the increase in sales would be to extend the period of time for the application of NOM-044, both in Euro V and Euro VI units, which would provide our customers certainty and stability when purchasing vehicles in the coming years.

Q: What are the main opportunities that FOTON has identified in the Mexican market

A: We see several opportunities in the market. For example, at some point, public investment in Mexico has to be reactivated and we believe that the process will be very fast since the movements of both passengers and merchandise will surely increase. Likewise, increasingly stringent regulations place us in a favorable situation because we offer natural gas and electric units. Together with our aggressive financing plans, we are the best option for our clients. Finally, our distribution network is consolidating with groups that have a great deal of experience in the field of motor transport, which makes it possible to provide total aftersales support to our clients.

Q: How is FOTON preparing for the sustainable mobility revolution the market is starting to experience?

A: We are ready. We are always updating our units with the most advanced technology. We have design and technology centers in China and other countries and we have just formed our own product engineering department at FOTON México. 

 

FOTON is a Chinese truck manufacturer with more than 10 years in the market. The company produces pickup trucks, tractor-trailers, van-type units, cargo for secondary and midrange distribution, diesel and natural gas buses, as well as 100 percent electric vehicles

Photo by:   FOTON
Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst