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Foton cuts Tunland ute pricing, adds spec

New start: Foton’s Tunland dual-cab ute range now comes standard with Bluetooth phone connectivity and Isofix child seat anchors.

Foton hopes for sales boost with price cuts and extra kit for Tunland ute range

Foton logo19 Sep 2013

THE private importer for fledgling Chinese brand Foton has cut the price of the Tunland utility range less than a year after it launched in Australia.

In a bid to appeal to more potential buyers in Australia’s competitive light-commercial vehicle market, the company has also introduced more standard gear across the range.

Names for the variants have also changed, with the former base Quality now known as TK and the more generously equipped Luxury renamed TL.

Prices for the Tunland dual-cab now start at $26,990 drive-away for the two-wheel drive TK, down from the launch price of $28,000 that did not include on-road costs. This marks a $1010 drop, but considering on-road costs (taxes and delivery charges) can add up to thousands of dollars, the overall saving is significant.

The new entry price for the two-wheel drive still can’t beat rival Great Wall’s V200 dual-cab diesel offering that starts at $24,990 drive-away, but it does match the opening price of Korean brand SsangYong’s Actyon Sports dual-cab diesel.

In a release sent out today, Foton took a swipe at entry-level rivals, saying the Tunland “is not a skin-deep knock-off of a Japanese vehicle,” hinting at the lack of originality of some of its competitors’ designs.

All-wheel drive variants now kick off from $32,490 drive-away for the TK compared to the original price of $34,500, while the top-spec 4x4 TL drops from $35,000 plus on-roads down to $32,990 drive-away.

While the all-wheel drive pricing easily undercuts equivalent variants of top-selling models such as the Mitsubishi Triton GLX double-cab ($40,990) or the Toyota HiLux Workmate double cab ($38,990), it is still pricier than the SsangYong ($30,990 d/a) and Great Wall ($25,990 d/a).

Foton has not advised if the drive-away pricing is permanent or for a limited time. It also appears the two-wheel drive Luxury variant that was available from launch, starting at $28,500 plus on-roads, has been discontinued.

The ambitious Chinese LCV-maker said at launch in November last year the Tunland was benchmarked against the Toyota HiLux, but it was criticised for its premium pricing strategy that placed it well above cut-price, developing-market rivals.

As well as the more attractive pricing, Foton has included Bluetooth phone connectivity, a new leather steering wheel with audio controls and Isofix child seat anchors as standard on all variants.

The Tunland continues to be powered by a 2.8-litre Cummins turbo-diesel engine matched with a standard Getrag five-speed manual gearbox. There is currently no automatic transmission available.

Foton’s local distributor FAA Automotive Australia says it still plans to enhance its line-up with the addition of a single-cab chassis version of the Tunland by the end of the year, while a light commercial van, mini-bus and Tunland-based SUV are also on the cards in the medium term.

There are currently 20 Foton dealers across Australia and FAA plans to expand this to 30 by 2014.

Unfortunately Foton does not provide its sales data to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries so it is not possible to compare sales with other brands.

Foton Tunland dual-cab pricing:*

2WD TK - $26,990
4WD TK - $32,490
4WD TL - $32,990

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