Testing of Tunland pick-up hints at Foton’s India plans
Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!
The Chinese are coming!
We all know that because in the recent past we have seen so many Chinese cars testing on the Indian streets. We saw the Chery QQ, we saw the Easter Cross we even saw Indian manufacturers rebranding Chinese cars to sell them in India (a la Premier Rio).
A TeamBHP forum member Prateek Sathe managed to scoop yet another Chinese vehicle testing on the Indian streets. This time it is a pickup truck from one of China’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer – Foton Motor.
Does the name Foton ring a bell?
It should because back in 2011, Foton decided to make its India foray by acquiring 250 acres for its Rs.1,676 crore plant. R. Shankar, an ex-Tata Motors employee, was the managing director of Foton Motors Marketing and Sales India. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, Mr Shankar resigned in April after just 4 months at his job.
The plant at Chakan is still very much on track and is expected to be completed by 2013. We can see Foton products rolling on the Indian streets by 2015.
Anyways, coming back to the Foton Tunland pickup truck. It is essentially a rival to the Tata Xenon and Scorpio Getaway and is very popular in China and Australia.
It is powered by a 2.8L turbodiesel engine that whips 160 hp at 3200rpm and 360Nm at 1600rpm. This Cummins developed engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox from Getrag and a transfer case from Borg Warner. It has axles from Dana including a limited-slip differential in the rear axle.
It is available in both 4X2 and 4X4 avatar with a 210 mm ground clearance and a metal protection plate under the engine. It can carry a payload of 1000kg.
Expect the Foton Tunland to hit the Indian market in 2014.