Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA) is evaluating the viability of introducing the heavy-duty Hyundai Xcient truck range into South Africa, says HASA commercial vehicles director Wade Griffin.
The market study should be completed towards the end of the year, he adds.
“The rand:dollar exchange rate is not favourable at the moment.”
Griffin says the right-hand-drive version of the Xcient is already available from the South Korean car and truck maker.
HASA is not yet sure whether the Xcient range, if launched locally, will be imported as fully built-up units, or whether they will be assembled from semi-knock down kits at HASA’s new truck plant, in Gauteng, he notes.
The Imperial-owned HASA imports the Hyundai brand intoSouth Africa, with the Korean company holding no shares in the local company.
HASA commercial vehicles GM Danie de Beer says it is important for HASA to fully understand the heavy truck market before it decides whether to launch the Xcient.
“There are 23 competitors in the market. You have to make sure it doesn’t blow up in your face.”
The Xcient range runs up to 56 t, and includes 6×2, 4×2, 8×4 and 6×4 tractors, as well as mixer and tipper chassis.
Although not reporting its sales in detail every month, HASA is believed to be number three in the passenger car market in South Africa. Expanding on its currently limited commercial vehicle range could increase HASA sales volumes in the domestic market.
HASA’s current commercial vehicle range includes the H100 bakkie, as well as medium-duty trucks, such as the HD65 and HD72, now assembled locally at the new R110-million plant.
Local assembly of the H100 is expected to start in early 2015, at around 4 200 units a year, adding to the 600 medium trucks a year expected to roll off the local production line.
“This investment in our commercial vehicle division enables us to be more aggressive and competitive due to the zero import duty provided as an incentive for the local assembly of trucks,” says Griffin.
Imports duties of 20% are levied on fully built-up medium trucks entering South Africa.
The assembly of Hyundai passenger cars in South Africa is “not on the cards”, says HASA marketing directorStanley Anderson.
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