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“The FT10 is our halo truck,” says Rodney Selesnick, senior head: sales and marketing at Ever Star Industries (ESI).

“It is market-leading in terms of engine performance, the cab and the styling. We are going to leverage off of that. We have brought a product to market that is going to challenge the established Japanese products. That is the key focus of where we are headed with the FT brand.

“We are going to push hard this year; not only to sell to new customers but to take the Japanese brands head-on. We have trucks that are viable in terms of performance, reliability and price.

“The engine, horsepower, kilowatts and performance are market-leading. We have bench-marked the FT10 against a very prominent Japanese offering and have made sure that the FT10′ specifications are highly attractive.

“The Cummins ISdE engine has been well researched that has been extensively used in other platforms. It has nearly 1 000nm of torque and 270hp and comes ready to go in the market as an in-your-face competitor.

Reflecting on general market acceptance of the FT 3, 5 and 8 so far, Selesnick says: “We delivered. The trucks have delivered and are still delivering. The FT market is either constant or growing. Most FT dealers have been enjoying repeat orders from the same customers.

This shows faith in the brand, faith in the dealership and faith in what we are offering going forward.

“After sales is going to be our biggest focus now. That is how the second and third trucks will be sold to the same customers. We know that we need to excel at selling, servicing and, in terms of the support, we need to continue delivering at a very high level.

“The FT10 lends itself very nicely as a truck tractor and we are looking at a number of possibilities. We are also probing niche markets, such as container transport with the shipping companies, and will continue to do this. There are also a number of markets that we can get into such as bakeries, driving schools and distribution, among others, so the opportunities are vast,” he concludes.

The newcomer is assembled semi-knocked down (SKD) at ESI’s Pietermaritzburg plant and has been extensively tested at the Gerotek vehicle test facility.

The truck is powered by a Euro 3, 6.7-litre, 270hp (198Kw) Cummins ISDe engine. The in-line six-cylinder motor is turbocharged and intercooled, and is mated to a six-speed manual ZF (6s1000) transmission.

Perhaps more importantly, the engine produces 970Nm of peak torque, from 1 400rp/m, which is more than enough to haul the FT10s 10.4-ton body and payload. The FT10 has a Gross Vehicle Mass of 16 000kg, a Gross Combination Mass of 24 000kg and a 200-litre aluminium fuel tank.

Driver safety is addressed through the fitment of Wabco ABS air-operated disc brakes on the front and drums at the rear. In addition, an auxiliary exhaust brake is also standard.

Driver comfort is also a priority with the fitment of an air-conditioner, electric mirrors and electric windows as standard, as well as a radio. Powerstar has also partnered with select bodybuilders to provide a turnkey solution and to ensure the bodies supplied are right for the vehicle.

ESI places its full backing behind the FT Series, with a 2 year/unlimited mileage warranty on the entire vehicle. Service intervals are set at 15 000km and can be serviced at certified Powerstar FT dealerships.

As part of the ESI dealer network, current Powerstar customers are supported with over 30 service centres around the country and dedicated Powerstar sales executives at full dealerships who ensure correct vehicle specification and comprehensive after-sales support.

Indicative pricing for the Powerstar FT10 is R520 000 (excluding VAT).

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