Sun | May 19, 2019

Stewart Industrial forging ahead with FUSO

Published:Monday | April 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Wayne Paisley (left), a member of the Stewart Industrial sales team, exchanges words with Carlyle Henderson at the unveiling event for a new line of FUSO trucks.
James Lechler (left) is amused by what Michael Atterbury has to say.
The Stewart Industrial sales team poses for pictures in front of the newly unveiled 13-ton FUSO dump truck.
Raymond Silvera (left), general manager at Chas. E. Ramson Limited, greets Stewart Industrial sales representative Craig Brown (second right), while James Lechler (second left) and another team member look on.
From left: Christina and Nikolas Hudson enjoy the company of Philip Schwapp.

Stewart Industrial, part of the Stewart's Automotive Group, is looking to gain a stronger foothold in the commercial vehicle market with the addition of five new Mitsubishi FUSO trucks.

Three of them, the FA 914 Rigid Truck Chassis, the FI 1214 Box Body Truck, and the FUSO FI 1217C Dump Truck, were launched at Hope Gardens last Wednesday. The trucks are

products of a partnership with FUSO and big money car maker Daimler AG. The trucks are manufactured at a new state-of-the-art plant in Chennai, India. General manager of Stewart Industrial, James Lechler, lauded the partnership with FUSO.

"Mitsubishi FUSO and Stewart Industrial are committed to providing you, our customers, with full support to ensure your vehicles stay on the road," he said. "We service what we sell."

Marcos Miazima, FUSO's customer services manager for Central and South America, said the brand's popularity in Jamaica has been very heartening.

"We imagined at the beginning that there would be some hesitation, but it didn't happen at all," he said. "The most important thing I believe is the partnership with Stewart's because service is the key. Without service, without spare parts, there will be no success."

Brian Blair, sales manager at Stewart Industrial, said since its creation in 2010, the company has been thriving, particularly in the mining sector. He also boasted about the company's array of construction equipment.

"At the moment, I consider that we are the leader. Our JCB backhoe has a 90 per cent market share in the island," said Blair. He said the company has started to redevelop their trucks and has increased market output annually.

"So the perception of FUSO not being a good truck has now gone away. People are trusting in the product, people are believing in the product," he said. Blair believes the new trucks will give Stewart Industrial a huge market input. He opined that for medium-duty class trucks, it is rare to find them with air brakes and the technology the FUSO trucks offer. With the three trucks all starting below J$10 million, he believes they are economically priced.

"The trucks are state-of-the-art, the factory does everything in terms of the Daimler standards, it's not like they're cutting corners," he said. "The trucks are built in India to take into consideration the operating costs so we have low operating costs, and we're still producing an excellent product."