Western Star pulls the plug on Foton partnership

By: Greg Bush

Ateco Automotive steps in after Western Star terminates agreement to distribute Foton trucks in Australia

Western Star pulls the plug on Foton partnership
Western Star opts out of Foton contract
October 31, 2012

Ateco Automotive will distribute Foton trucks in Australia after Western Star broke off its agreement with the Chinese manufacturer over concerns contractual commitments would not be met to its expectations.

Western Star’s two-year importation and distribution agreement to supply Foton’s light duty Aumark truck ends today and Ateco will step in from tomorrow to pick up the slack.

In a brief statement, Western Star says its contract with Foton required it to meet product engineering and aftermarket support milestones.

"After protracted negotiations on the part of WSTA [Western Star Trucks Australia] with Foton, it became apparent that these milestones would not be achieved by Foton on a schedule that was acceptable by WSTA," the statement reads.

Ateco will now distribute Foton’s light and medium trucks in Australia and New Zealand. It says the deal includes a revamped model line-up to be available in early 2013.

"We have enjoyed great success in this country over the past few years with Chinese made utilities and SUVs, and I think the time is now right for us to press ahead and enter other market segments with well-equipped and very competitively priced Chinese products," Ateco Governing Director Neville Crichton says.

Founded in 1996, Foton is the top ranked commercial vehicle manufacturer in China and one of the largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles in the world.

It entered into a partnership with Daimler in 2009 to produce a range of medium and heavy duty trucks.

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