Biggest order of Chinese trucks heads to Venezuela

Updated: 2014-11-26 02:21

By ZHU LIXIN in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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Biggest order of Chinese trucks heads to Venezuela

Two hundred JAC heavy-load trucks, as the first batch of the 5,239 units ordered by Venezuela's Ministry of Transport and Communications, are shipped from the Shanghai Port in China on Nov17 and will arrive at the port city of Puerto Cabello in Venezuela before the end of December. Wu T ong / for China Daily


Two hundred Chinese heavy-load trucks will head across the Pacific Ocean and arrive at the port city of Puerto Cabello in Venezuela before the end of December.

The vehicles made by Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co, more widely known as JAC at home and abroad, are part of 5,239 units ordered by Venezuela's Ministry of Transport and Communications in July.

The deal is said to be the biggest export order of heavy trucks won by a Chinese automaker in recent years.

The 200 vehicles, the first batch, were shipped on Nov 17 from the Shanghai Port, the world's largest port. The remaining 5,039 trucks will also be shipped from the Shanghai Port in the near future.

The delivery date is later than the previously reported end of August because the Venezuelan partners made some small adjustment to the contract then, according to Zhang Peng, deputy general manager of JAC International Co Ltd, a JAC subsidiary based in Hefei, the capital of East China's Anhui province.

JAC, one of China's largest domestic automakers, signed the $274 million contract with Venezuela's transport ministry and the national foreign trade company Corpovex S. A. in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, on July 21.

The Venezuelan transport authority established a national state-owned transportation enterprise in November 2012, with the strong support of President Nicolas Maduro. The company needs a large number of heavy-load trucks to consolidate its transport capacity.

"After a five-month investigation and negotiations, Venezuela finally chose JAC from several options," said Zhang.

Zhang, who signed the contract on behalf of the company, thinks it is JAC's broad service network and the good public recognition in Venezuela that convinced the partners to make the choice.

"The deal is a very good example of the Venezuela-China cooperation in various areas," said Jean Carlos Ravel Gonzalez, deputy consul-general of the Venezuelan consulate in Shanghai, at the delivery ceremony on Monday.

Since Venezuela is JAC's most important target market in Latin America, the company regards the heavy-truck deal as the latest milestone of JAC's business in the country since 2012.

In 2012, JAC established an assembly plant of commercial vehicles in Barquisimeto under the request of the Venezuelan government and also to fulfill the company's own strategy.

The plant now employs more than 600 local workers and has assembled more than 6,000 commercial vehicles so far.

"But the 5,239 units of heavy trucks can not be assembled there since the need of the Venezuelan customers is very urgent," said Zhang, who told China Daily that the customer requires JAC deliver all the vehicles within 360 days after July 21.

"The mission is impossible for the young plant, whose products are mainly light trucks so far, but the situation may be changed soon as more JAC heavy trucks are expected to come into the market through the plant in the future."

JAC entered into a strategic cooperation memo in July with Venezuela's top transport authority on building the assembly plant into the largest for heavy trucks in the whole Latin America region.

Besides the Barquisimeto-based plant, JAC has also established 14 other assembly plants overseas.

"The diplomatic partnership between China and the target country and the market need there are the top two concerns of whether we should establish a plant there," said Zhang. "Venezuela is one of China's best friends in the Latin America area and the market need there for our commercial vehicles is climbing steadily in recent years."

Before this heavy truck deal, sales of JAC's light truck surpassed those of General Motors in 2013, and continue to grow, ranking the automaker the largest commercial vehicle provider in the country.

"The trucks that will arrive in my country soon will play a vital role in boosting the local economy in multiple levels and I think this is just the beginning of our growing partnership." said Gonzalez.

In his Chinese partner's view, the partnership is also solid and long-term. In late October, JAC won an order of 920 more commercial vehicles, including dump trucks and water-tank lorries, this one from the Venezuelan housing ministry.