“The world has changed significantly during the past year, and so has the way we live our lives and run our businesses,” said Filip Van den Heede, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “While adhering to government regulations, we also understand that there is a need to continue with economic activities, and that is why we are more committed than ever to support the logistics industry in the country.”
He said the company commends the strong resilience of the local transport industry that supported the good recovery of the market in 2020 after the hard lockdown.
“We believe this challenging spirit will continue into 2021, as we remain positive about the future and committed to support logistics in our region,” stated Van den Heede.
New Additions to Croner Range
Since its launch in 2017, UD Trucks’ Croner range originally operated only in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment. Through UD Trucks’ expansion program, the new Croner truck-tractor will be classified as an Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle, operating in the up to 350hp lightweight truck-tractor segment. The new LKE 15-tonne freight carrier will operate in the 8-tonne payload segment in the HCV segment.
Rory Schulz, UD Trucks Southern Africa’s marketing and sales director, said the company is expanding its Croner range to improve their offering in urban and inter-city distribution.
“In the very competitive 8-to-9-tonne payload segment, we saw the need arise for a fuel-efficient, high payload unit with good drivability at good value for money. With the new model introductions, we are improving payload, fuel efficiency and adding more driver comfort, as well as extending service intervals,” said Schulz. “With UD Trucks Telematics Services as standard and a regionwide dealer network, fleet owners are supported no matter where they operate.”
The Croner LKE 210 freight carrier boasts a GH5, 5-litre engine and an Allison 2500 series automatic transmission.
With 850 Nm of torque along with a good transmission ratio ensure the truck can quickly get to the 60km/h mark in city, or to the 80km/h where the law allows. The LKE 210 has a low tare mass and optimized wheelbase of 5 500mm for both volume and mass payloads. All of this combine to provide a truck with class-leading payload productivity.
“The Allison automatic transmissions ease the job at hand for drivers who spend the day in the urban environment, facing long hours of traffic with multiple stops and cargo drops,” explained Schulz. “The new generation torque converter with early lock-up also ensures a smooth and easy drive so driver fatigue is reduced, which means the driver can concentrate on situational driving. Additionally, the enhanced power shifts lead to more efficient fuel consumption, comfort, manoeuvrability and performance.”
The Croner 4x2 PKE 280 truck-tractor has a GH8, 8-litre engine and an Allison 3000 automatic transmission series, with similar emphasis on urban and city-to-city distribution, as well as focus on inter-regional haul.
In 2020, UD Trucks also introduced a Croner 6x2 PDE280 freight carrier, which brings the total of variants in this range to 16 models.
“The work a vehicle does, and the resources required to do it, are essential to the success of any fleet,” said Schulz. “Productivity to us means how much payload you can carry, at the highest possible legal speed, with as little fuel as possible. And the Croner certainly delivers on all these factors in a smart and modern way, day in and day out.”
UD Trucks’ Croner range is assembled at its plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng, according to global quality standards.
“When we originally launch the Croner range, we wanted to offer fleet owners trucks and solutions that maximize uptime and productivity. These new additions to the Corner family, are no exception,” said Van den Heede. “We know how important it is to make every moment count in the transport business.”
“Better Life”: UD Trucks’ new strategy
Globally, UD Trucks launched its new “Better Life” strategy that challenges the way it cares for people and the planet, by bringing sustainable transport solutions in line with the current transformation of the logistics industry.
“We believe this strategy will lead to a better life for all within the spheres we operate in,” explained Van den Heede. “As a challenger and innovator, we are continuously challenging the status quo, and know that our products, service and people can have a positive impact on the world around us.”
With the launch of the new Quon in 2019 with Euro 5 emission standards, the company entrenched this vision into practice. Since this launch, UD Trucks has secured the availability of Ad Blue, which helps reduce nitrous oxide emissions, for Quon customers across South Africa. A proof in point of the company’s Better Life strategy in practice.
Strategic alliance: Volvo Group and Isuzu Motors
In December 2019, the Volvo Group and Isuzu Motors announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the intent to form a strategic alliance within commercial vehicles to capture the opportunities in the ongoing transformation of the industry. End October 2020, the binding agreement was signed. The Alliance between the Volvo Group and Isuzu Motors is set to a build long-term and robust relationship that will encompass but not be limited to:
- Forming a technology partnership. intended to leverage the parties’ complementary areas of expertise within both well-known and new technologies and creating a larger volume base to support investments for world-class technology.
- Creating the best long-term conditions for a stronger heavy-duty truck business for UD Trucks and Isuzu Motors in Japan and across international markets by transferring ownership of the complete UD Trucks business from the Volvo Group to Isuzu Motors. This will accelerate growth by leveraging greater volumes and complementary capabilities, creating significant synergies for Isuzu Motors.
- Exploring further opportunities for even broader and deeper collaboration within the commercial vehicle businesses across geographical areas and product lines for future urban logistics solutions.