The Foton Thunder (also called Tunland) pick-up truck was spied testing in Pune by our team member Anupam Singh Parihar recently. Foton is China’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and is setting up a factory in Chakan, near Pune and will start its operations in India by the end of this year. The Thunder or Tunland is expected to be the first offering from the Chinese company. Thus this truck seems to be under testing and homologation for production and sale in India.
The Foton Thunder will go head on with likes of the Tata 207, Mahindra Maxx in the commercial sector as well as the Tata Xenon 4X4 and Mahindra Scorpio Getaway in the personal vehicle sector. The Foton Thunder is powered by a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine developed by Cummins producing 160 BHP of power and 360 Nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed gearbox. It will be available in 2X4 and 4X4 versions. Three body-styles will be available, single-cab, single-cab with long loading bay and double-cab.
The Foton Thunder will be available in a barebones version for commercial use as well as a fully loaded luxury version which will have features like ABS, EBD, airbags, parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, alloy wheels, climate control, audio controls on the steering, DVD player, electric rear view mirrors, etc for private buyers looking for a comfortable but well equipped pick-up truck or SUV. It is expected the Thunder will go on sale later this year.
Foton is owned by the Beijing Automotive Industry Company (BAIC) and they are investing heavily in India to capture the light commercial vehicle market. They have invested Rs. 1676 crore for the Chakan plant as well as to build a dealer network and staff to set up its operations in India. Foton will bring out many new products tailored for Indian requirements and scenario to gain sales and a decent share in the ever growing Indian commercial vehicle segment. All these products will be locally manufactured with high levels of localization.