Wednesday, October 20

UD Trucks keen to explore prospects in Pan Borneo development


Van den Heede is all thumbs-up for the Quester model on display at the UD Trucks booth in Tokyo Motor Show 2017.

TOKYO: Vibrant developments involving the Pan Borneo Highway present viable opportunities for players in the construction sector including those from the heavy machinery and logistics segments.

In this respect, UD Trucks believes it is able to contribute through its expertise in short-to-long-haul heavy vehicles segment.

According to UD Trucks group trucks Asia sales-Malaysia managing director Filip Van den Heede, the company is keen on exploring prospects in the Pan Borneo project, capitalising on its long-serving presence in the Malaysian trucks market for nearly 40 years — thanks to its collaboration with Tan Chong Industrial Equipment (TCIE).

“I was in Kuching for the launch of our all-new medium-duty truck, the Croner, in September this year where I got to know more about the first phase of the Pan Borneo project. I believe that this is an area where UD Trucks can come in through our offering of heavy-duty trucks, especially our versatile Quester range.

“For us, wherever there is a demand for construction, we have the capability to be there, particularly for growth markets like Malaysia,” he told The Borneo Post during a one-on-one session at the UD Experience Centre in Saitama near here on Tuesday.

UD Trucks was among the exhibitors taking part in the 45th Annual Tokyo Motor Show in Arioke near here recently, which gathered both the world’s established and emerging brands in automotive manufacturing and engineering, spare parts and auxiliary, as well as design and conceptualisation.

Adding on, Van den Heede said as far as Sarawak is concerned, the company also holds capabilities in areas that could serve as a great fit for the state.

“Medium, long and regional hauls, general cargo, plantation, commodities such as palm oil, petro-chemicals – these are the areas that we have strength in.

“Another prospect is the introduction of enhanced technology to growth markets. This is inevitable because the trucking industry is undergoing transformation due to a number of key aspects such as changes in the emission standards and also market demads,” said Van den Heede, 45, who has been in the line for almost 20 years – 10 years of them in UD Trucks Asia.

At present, the company strives to maintain a market share of between 10 and 15 per cent in the Malaysian heavy-duty trucks segment, while for the medium-duty trucks segment, the range is between 25 per cent and 28 per cent.

For the smaller trucks segment, the present share is between five and 10 per cent.

“We have been successful in the heavy-duty segment and for Sarawak, we believe that there is growth for the medium-duty trucks, especially following the launch of our new Croner series in Kuching in September.

“However, a solid 30 per cent (for medium-duty trucks segment) would be even more desirable,” said Van den Heede, who is from Belgium.