7 March, 2018
Hyundai SA launches light-duty truck, believes market will grow over next 5 years
The EX8 may be the first introduction in a new commercial vehicle line-up for HASA, with the South Korean manufacturer increasingly keen on expanding its range and reach in right-hand-drive markets, says HASA commercial vehicle director Wade Griffin. HASA currently sells the H1 van, H100 pick-up and EX8light-duty truck in the local market. The H100 and EX8 are assembled locally, at the Apex plant, on the East Rand.
The assembly plant produces between 300 and 320 H100 and EX8 trucks a month, says HASA sales and operations director Stanley Anderson. Capacity is 400 units a month.
The heavy-duty Hyundai Xcient truck is still being tested within the Imperial fleet for possible introduction in South Africa, says Griffin.
HASA is an Imperial group company.
"It's a different game with heavy-duty trucks," notes Griffin. "Imperial is pretty impressed with the vehicle, but it takes time. You have to look at durability and wear and tear."
HASA is also considering the introduction of the H350 in South Africa, which would serve as a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter panel van and minibus.
Anderson is hopeful of launching the H350 in South Africa in 2019. Automatic transmissions for the EX8 truck range is also under consideration. HASA is "very optimistic" that the South African truck market will grow strongly over the next five years. This growth will flow from "renewed hope" following the recent change of political leadership in the country, as well as an anticipated return to healthy economic growth, says Griffin
Compared to its predecessor, the EX8's interior space has been increased from 2.9 m² to 3.5 m².
Visibility from inside the cabin has been improved by increasing the windshield height by 20 mm, and width by 70 mm. The dash has also been lowered by 80 mm.
The steering column now has forward-backward adjustment of 60 mm, as well as height adjustment of 76 mm. The seat also slides back by a further 55 mm.
The new, tall style headlamps cast a longer and wider beam pattern.
One of the new exterior features is the main rear-view mirror that is 10 mm taller, and a newly added convex-shaped sub-mirror below it that eliminates the blind spot.
The door opening angle has been increased from 68° to 80°, making access to the cab easier.
The longer wheelbase of the new EX8 has resulted in a longer deck, at 4 850 mm.
The gross vehicle mass of the new EX8 is 7 800 kg.
Various load carrying options are available, including a tipper conversion, closed bodies for secure transport of goods, and a dropside body that ensures easy loading and off-loading of goods.
The D4DD 3 907 cc engine, which conforms to Euro 3 emission standards, has a common-rail diesel injection system that delivers maximum power of 103 kW at 2 800 rpm. Peak torque is 373 Nm, which is produced at 1 600 rpm.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual synchromesh gearbox.
Hyundai has increased the service intervals from the HD72's 10 000 km, to 20 000 km for the EX8.
"The durability and reliability of our drivetrains has also enabled us to launch the EX8 with an industry-leading factory warranty of four years, with unlimited mileage in this period. We also offer a three-year/200 000 km roadside assistance plan as part of the standard package," says Griffin.
"We also did a price study for a basket of 32 service, maintenance and crash parts, and the outcome was that our parts basket proved to be 20% better priced than that of our nearest competitor."
Pricing for the EX8 starts at R379 500 for the long-wheel base version, and tops out at R451 500 for the short-wheel base tipper.
Source: Transport & Construction