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It follows two years after the successful rollout of the first locally-assembled heavy-duty UD Quester truck in 2016. As such, this is also the first UD Croner truck that is locally assembled for UD Trucks in Asia Pacific outside of Japan with a private distributor partner.
This UD Croner rollout comes less than a year after the medium-duty truck was launched in Malaysia in August last year. An internal event to officiate the factory line-off of the first unit was held recently with participation from management teams and senior staff of UD Trucks, TCIE and TCMA.
Speaking at the event, Filip Van den Heede, Managing Director Hub Malaysia, UD Trucks, expressed: “UD Croner is a versatile, reliable, safe and fuel-efficient medium-duty truck range that is developed with the Asian customers in mind. It is a truck range designed to deliver extra productivity and superior uptime as it combines the best of three worlds, which are UD Trucks’ Japanese heritage and craftsmanship, Volvo Group’s proven technologies and TCIE’s local resourcing, expertise and market reach.
“Our goal is to build a truck that our customers need for today and the future, and in doing so, we have taken numerous feedback from them in order to help them stay ahead of the competition. In Malaysia, cost efficiency and quality trucks are key factors to our customers. That is why we are certain that with the availability of the locally-assembled UD Croner now, our customers would continue to enjoy all the strong features of the truck at a competitive price. In addition, they would also continue to receive thorough aftermarket service from our long-standing partner TCIE,” said Van den Heede.
Tan Keng Meng, Executive Director, TCIE, said: “Our capability in producing complete knocked-down UD Croner trucks from our factory has further cemented Tan Chong Group’s competency in offering a full range of services for the truck industry, with assembly being a highly key and strategic expertise, ever since we successfully lined-off the heavy-duty UD Quester in 2016.
“UD Trucks and Tan Chong Group have had a solid and highly successful 40-year partnership, with which we have worked and cooperated closely to introduce new products and services that deliver smart logistics to our customers in Malaysia,” he added.
“Our locally-assembled UD Croner trucks would not only continue to represent the hallmark of what UD Trucks stands for, but it would also give operators all that is needed to work efficiently and effectively at an affordable price range. This is very important especially in a competitive market like Malaysia. This is what we want to aim for our customers as their satisfaction and trust in us remains our top priority,” said Tan.
For this CKD Croner, TCIE would roll out 150 units this year comprising manual and auto transmission options, namely the Croner PKE and Croner LKE. The Croner PKE caters for medium-heavy duty usage with a powerful 6-cylinder engine for regional and long haul, while the Croner LKE is a multi-purpose model for in-city and city-to-city distribution focusing on transport efficiency.
According to Tan, the setting up of the assembly line with an investment of more than RM1.5 million to produce locally-assembled heavy-duty UD Quester trucks two years ago was a strategic step on Tan Chong Group’s part to meet local market needs. It would also support the growth of Malaysia as an important complete knocked-down automotive market in the region.
As part of the company’s direction to increase its competitive edge as an automotive player, a further investment of RM4.5 million was made to expand the production capacity of TCMA to include the CKD Croner. Part of the investment was used for the expansion of assembly facilities including body and paint.
UD Trucks, on the other hand, contributed to enhancing the capabilities of local engineers by sharing technology know-how and hands-on approach in training to enable efficient management of the expanded facility and ensure a smooth roll-out of the CKD UD Croner.
Tomoharu Takigawa, UD Trucks KD Quality Manager, shared: “TCMA, with its complete knocked-down (CKD) operation fulfilling UD Trucks’ standards of quality and operational excellence, has played an important role and been for years a key part of our brand’s success in Malaysia. We believe with the dedication and support of TCIE and TCMA in upholding the quality of UD Trucks, we could continue producing more trucks that would deliver ultimate dependability to our Malaysian customers.”
TCIE has an extensive network of 43 services centres and dealerships nationwide. Any purchase of UD trucks is supported by the UD Extra Mile Support services that include UD Genuine Service and Parts, UD Driver Training, UD Telematics and UD Trust Service Agreements for customers.
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