UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has launched its new Croner heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) range, named after Chronos, the god of time in Greek mythology.
Featuring 13 variants, the new product range offers up to 21 configurations.
The range will be assembled from semi-knockdown kits (SKD), at the company’s plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, and will be introduced to other markets in the region during the next year.
The SKD kits for assembly will be imported from Thailand, similar to the Quester extra-heavy truck range.
This means only the Quon extra-heavy truck is still sourced from Japan, as UD Trucks continue to develop the Thai plant as a supply source for developing markets.
South Africa remains the Japanese truck maker’s biggest market outside Japan. The company is active in more than 60 countries.
UD Trucks became a part of the Volvo Group in 2007.
“We are excited to see Croner in our region,” says UDTSA MD Gert Swanepoel.
He says the HCV market in South Africa dropped from 6 719 units in 2015, to 5 556 units in 2016, adding, however, that the general growth trend in the last few years has been positive.
Volvo Group Trucks Asia Sales president Jacques Michel says the Croner is one of UD Trucks’ “most fuel-efficient trucks ever, thanks to the new GHE engine series, automatic transmission, a built-in fuel coach, and a more aerodynamic cab”.
Durability testing was conducted over an equivalent of three-million kilometers. In addition, 1.4-million kilometres of field tests within actual customer operations were carried out across six countries and three continents over a period of 18 months, including South Africa.
The Croner range features three gross vehicle mass (GVM) models, from 9.5 t to 17 t.
The MKE is compact-sized HCV truck optimised for urban use, with better manoeuvrability for narrow roads and city deliveries. The GH5E engine Euro 3 engine produces 136 and 157 kW of power, depending on the configuration.
It is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, and features a 2.1 m day cab.
The 12 t to 14 t GVM LKE is a multipurpose model targeting largely in-city and city-to-city distribution. It features a 2.1 m day cab.
This class of vehicle’s GH5E engine produces 157 kW of power, and is also available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The 15 t to 17 t GVM PKE is for medium to heavy-duty use, with an engine made for regional, long haul and heavier loads, and features a 2.3 m sleeper cab.
The six-cylinder GH8E engine delivers 186 kW, or 209 kW of power, depending on the configuration.
This model is available with a choice of either a nine-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The entire range of wheelbase variants can be configured to suit operators’ specific needs, with flexibility in everything from GVM and wheelbase choices to cab, driveline, axle and suspension.