FAW is one of China’s leading automotive brands and apart from producing its own vehicles it’s involved in joint venture partnerships with Audi, General Motors, Mazda, Toyota and Volkswagen Chinese automaker FAW is looking to capture the attention of entrepreneurs and small business operators in South Africa with the addition of light commercial vehicles, in the form of its Sirius S80, to its local line-up.
While the brand is quite well-known in medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments both locally and abroad, its attempt at capturing the light commercial segment comes as part of the company’s drive to grow its overall market share around the world by offering durable and affordable business mobility solutions.
FAW, founded in China 1953, is currently represented in more than 100 countries around the globe, and it recently announced that it broke ground on a new commercial vehicle production facility within the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth. The general manager of FAW’s passenger car and commercial vehicle operations in South Africa, Pedro Pereira, said once operational, the plant will have an initial annual output of 5 000 trucks, with the possibility of passenger cars and light commercials also being produced locally at a later stage.
“We at FAW passenger cars and LCVs are very excited about the future as we know we will be getting quality products from China’s leading automotive company and will offer top-class back-up service through a countrywide dealer network to ensure cost-effective motoring and transport solutions,” Pereira said at the launch of the Sirius S80 recently.
While the Sirius S80, in seven-seater passenger car trim, offers remarkable value for money when you consider its price and features against some of its competitors in the segment, FAW believe that the panel van version brings an added slice of affordability in this highly competitive segment of the LCV market. With both rear doors open, its utility space measures in at 1 670mm in length, 1 270mm in width and 1 070mm in height and it is rated to carry up to 545kg, including a driver and passenger.
Furthermore, thanks to its lockable rear doors, it remains an ideal solution for courier companies and perhaps tradesmen as expensive goods or equipment can be stowed safely in the rear, away from prying eyes when the vehicle is left unattended.
The FAW Sirius S80 is now available with a 1,5-litre engine, which has been added to the line-up alongside its existing 1,3-litre derivative. The 1,3-litre engine produces 67kW of power at 6 000rpm and 120N.m of torque at 4 400rpm, while the latest 1,5-litre units delivers 74kW and a respectable 140N.m at similar engine revolutions.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a fivespeed manual gearbox, and the vehicle features an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a coil-sprung multi-link layout at the rear. “We currently have a national network of 20 dealers and the growing model line-up is resulting in increased interest in the FAW franchise.
Most of our dealers are multi-franchise Imperial facilities and we are currently in talks with several interested parties and expect to open a few more FAW outlets shortly,” added Pereira. Pricing for new FAW Sirius S80 Van starts at R149 995 and it’s available through 22 FAW dealers nationwide, with more dealerships to open soon.