As part of the International Truck of the Year process, this month saw the Chinese Truck of the Year announced for 2023.
The winner this year is the Beijing Fuxing, an all new heavy duty prime mover, which is a major departure for the brand in the Chinese market. BAIC Heavy Truck have made trucks in the past, but this model marks the beginning of a completely new and ambitious expansion plan for the truck maker.
BAIC Heavy Truck is based on a new 70 hectare site in Changzhou, an industrial city just outside of Shanghai. The company reckons it has invested $635 million in the new facility and expects to produce 60,000 trucks by 2025 and reach a production capacity of 120,000 per annum by 2030.
The first model in the new range is the Fuxing, which is all new from the ground up, enabling the truck maker to utilise all of the latest available technology.
Under an all new cab, described by some commentators as reminiscent of a Mercedes Benz, and by others as a MAN copy, is a Foton Cummins X 13 engine, coupled with a ZF 12 Speed AMT.
The Chinese journalists on the CToY jury found the driving experience to be smooth and stable, liking the Cummins and ZF combination in the driveline. The driveline is said to be able to intelligently switch between six modes, including economy, standard and power, depending on factors such as load, driving environment and vehicle conditions.
The mode can be switched to power mode during continuous hill climbing and uses an intelligent fuel consumption management system. The system is claimed to save between five and 10 per cent in fuel consumption over its Chinese rivals.
One innovation which we haven’t seen before, is the mirror holder under the Fuxing’s rearview mirror, which has two cameras, one looking forward and one rearwards. At the same time, the front grille and rear also have the same cameras. This gives it a 360° panoramic image.
Chinese truck industry commentators suggest Beijing Heavy Truck’ new expansion plan is different from those publicised by some Chinese truck manufacturers in the past. The company is an industry veteran with vehicle manufacturing experience and a rapid climb in market share is expected.