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Foton commercial moves to Ateco

Making a mark: The Aumark truck will be the only model in the 2013 Foton medium to heavy commercial range for the time being.

Ateco to become the new distributor for Foton heavy trucks in Australia

30 Oct 2012

ATECO Automotive has expanded its brand portfolio after announcing it had acquired the rights to distribute Chinese Foton trucks in Australia, but not utes.

The Sydney-based distributor will officially take over on Thursday (November 1) from the current distributor, Transpacific Industries Group.

Transpacific Industries, which has a number of waste management companies under its umbrella and also has the rights to distribute Western Star, MAN and Dennis Eagle trucks in Australia, could not be contacted for comment.

The arrangement with Ateco does not affect the local distribution of Foton Auto’s range of utes and light commercial vehicles, which is managed by Queensland company FAA Automotive Australia.

FAA is scheduled to commence sales of Foton’s light-commercial range, including the Tunland ute, by the end of 2012, but an official on-sale date is yet to be confirmed.

Foton’s initial offering of light and medium trucks under Ateco will be limited to the Aumark truck range that is already on sale in Australia, with new specifications and pricing information to be confirmed early next year.

Ateco has had some experience distributing commercial vehicles with Fiat Commercial before the Italian brand was taken over by the recently formed Fiat Chrysler Group Australia earlier this year.

Governing director of Ateco Australia, Neville Crichton, said he was excited to be bringing commercial vehicles back to Ateco.

“We have enjoyed great success in this country over the past few years with Chinese-made utilities and SUVs, and I think the time is now right for us to press ahead and enter other market segments with well-equipped and very competitively priced Chinese products,” he said.

Foton was founded in 1996 and is now the top-ranked commercial vehicle manufacturer in China.

It has sold more than five million vehicles worldwide and Ateco claims it now ranks as “the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the world”.

Foton has joint-venture agreements with a number of manufacturers and suppliers, most notably Daimler, with which it will produce a range of medium and heavy trucks under the Auman name.

The 50/50 partnership with Daimler will see the Auman truck range using Daimler’s Euro V Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty engines in future Foton truck models.

A spokesperson for Ateco Automotive said it is not yet known what future Foton trucks would make it onto the Australian market beyond the Aumark range.

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