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UD heavy-duty Quester truck launched in Qatar

On 27 APril, at an official launch ceremony, UD Trucks launched a new heavy duty truck, Quester, for growth markets outside of Japan.

Jan-Erik Thorén, business director, UD Trucks, Middle East.
Jan-Erik Thorén, business director, UD Trucks, Middle East.

After six years of development and 1,500,000 engineering hours, UD Trucks has launched its new heavy duty Quester truck in Qatar. 

After six years of development and 1,500,000 engineering hours, UD Trucks has launched its new heavy duty Quester truck in Qatar.

With the aim of creating a tough truck, with minimal operational costs and maximum fuel efficiency, the OEM has produced a vehicle well-suited to the Middle Eastern market.

“The new Quester is based on a heavy-duty truck platform, meaning that it has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of approximately 20 tonnes and upwards; a gross combination weight of 80 tonnes and comes with different heavy duty engines, gear-boxes and rear axles,” explains Jan-Erik Thorén, business director, UD Trucks, Middle East.

“All components are sourced from various places, like all OEMs do today,” he adds.

Wahaj Malik, sales manager, UD Trucks, market Middle East explains that the truck is going to be launched worldwide, market by market. “This is the first market in the Middle East where we are launching this range of trucks,” he adds.

“Based on Volvo Group know-how, the design experience and sourcing the different components and the Japanese heritage of quality”, Thorén adds that the truck will be distributed through Jaidah Heavy Equipment and highlights that UD Trucks has enjoyed a 50-year long relationship with the Jaidah Group.

This three-pronged focus: Volvo expertise, Japanese reputation and local knowledge, sets the truck apart.

Malik adds: “Jaidah Heavy Equipment only focuses on UD trucks on the heavy duty side, benefitting from the local company’s network and local knowledge. We are replacing the heavy-duty range of trucks sold over the past three to four years – about 200 units in Qatar in 2015 – with the new Quester, which we expect will be more or less the same by way of units sold.”

By adding numerous configurations the company anticipates that the market for the new truck will grow as more applications are realised.

“Previously we did not have 4x2 rigid in the 21-tonne range, which no other Japanese brand has the moment as it’s a generally European specification. We are also introducing 8x4 rigid trucks and the existing range will be replaced by additional features and numerous other options,” Malik elaborates.

In the hotly competitive GCC truck market, Malik believes that the versatility of the new range will stand it in good stead, and adds: “UD Trucks has a fantastic name in terms of dependability and ‘ultimate’ reliability and based on that, we offer customers a cost-competitive product. Unlike a European OEM, we compete in the Japanese price segment, which is lower. In fact, UD Trucks are workhorses.”

He adds: “We focus on the essentials and we provide the relative features as per application” while Thorén adds, “We support them in their daily productivity, offering more options, even within the same range of trucks”.

With only one engine option available previously, the Quester comes with two options, namely an 8-litre and 11-litre engine, which allows for drive-line optimisation, tailoring the truck to the application and affording better fuel efficiency as a result.

A new feature is Fuel-Coach which literally coaches the driver in real-time on fuel efficiencies, indicating poor driving choices through a dashboard display and advising when to decrease or increase torque. The data can be accessed to create a driver profile relating to fuel efficiency, with the intention of improving driving skills.

“There is a Middle East spares centre in Dubai as well as a fully-fledged training centre and parts distribution and, as we introduce a new range, we insist that the local dealer have the initial stock available,” says Thorén.

The standard maintenance contracts are in place, dependent on application.

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