Foton and KBN unveil new truck for GCC markets
China’s front runner in commercial vehicles, Foton International along with exclusive Qatari distributor, Khalid Bin Nasser (KBN) for Trucks and Buses, launched the Foton Auman GTL Tractor Head in Doha on 25 January 2016. Sheikh Khalid Bin Nassar Al Thani, chair of KBN, discusses how the new truck could be a perfect fit for the (currently) economically challenged region
In a ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Doha, Foton International and KBN for Trucks and Buses introduced the Foton Auman GTL Tractor Head to the GCC market for the first time. This marks the first unveiling of the Foton Auman GTL range in the GCC.
The event was attended by Sheikh Khalid Bin Nassar Al Thani, chair of KBN, and Lu Zhenghua, VP of Foton International, among other representatives of local construction companies, car rental companies, and logistics companies.
Spotlight on Doha
Al Thani highlights that as Qatar prepares for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the country’s Vision 2030, it has placed itself as a vibrant economic centre in GCC with several infrastructure projects and initiatives. In fact, on 26 January The Peninsula reported that central parts of Doha has been reserved for massive development as part of plans to host the world cup.
Al Thani admits that the region has been facing “macro-economic” challenges because of the lower oil and gas prices that is expected to sustain for the next few years.
As a result Qatari government plans to prioritise major projects, reviewing costs as well as proposing alternative contracting and financing methods, according to Doha News.
Local daily Gulf News reported that though Qatar’s New Year budget is conservative on revenues, Qatar is committed to completing several projects ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. This bears good news for the nation’s construction industry.
Doha, however, still remains one of the most expensive cities for construction according Arcadis’s International Construction Cost report.
Making good value investments
Al Thani suggests that while the development plans will be executed in Qatar, this will occur perhaps at lower than planned volume and value. “This means that many here in the audience today will need to revise how you plan, secure and execute construction and/or other projects. You will need to adjust your margins and cash flows to a new reality.
“Foton provides excellent performance for value. Our products are up to 50% – 60% cheaper than high-end brands in the market.”
According to the chair, the brand represented high quality and low cost value. A good example of that would be the recent launch, Foton Auman GTL, which might be affordable but still entails the Cummins engine.
The Beijing-headquartered brand has chosen the KBN for its vision and capability. Zhenghua says that the company is one of Foton’s most important partners in the GCC. “Our group would bring products to Qatar and provide a broad range of support to KBN, to ensure that the after-sales service and spare parts delivery capability of its partners.”
KBN will also be investing in its delivery capability with a Foton showroom on Salwa Road in Doha, and a dedicated service centre in the industrial area.