“May the leaves from the tree fall and hopefully those leaves turn into truck sales” says the optimistic, yet realistic and humble Rodney Selesnick, Senior Head of Sales and Marketing at Everstar Industries.
Q: The FT series truck has gained significant popularity in the South African marketplace over the last few years and certainly dealers are reporting significant market success of late. What do you attribute this to?
A: For Selesnick, the genetics of the truck itself speaks to this rise.
“With the combination of the FT series specifications and its ability to be a high-end solid performer whilst maintaining a low life cycle cost how can one not expect a rise in popularity?
People want to get familiar with a brand that serves all needs but can remain cost efficient. If one takes a closer look at the life cycle of the FT series and its costs, “from the initial cost, to the performance cost, to the cost of parts and servicing, this is a brand that the market should tap into.
Q: What makes FT series trucks unique in their class?
A: “Again, looking back at the life cycle cost, it’s simply unbeatable. It’s a truck series where the bang for your buck is what keeps you coming back.”
Selesnick explains further, using an analogy that puts a neat and tidy (red bow) across the FT series. “Sure, you can go out and buy a Ferrari and spend tons on a high performing vehicle, but when it comes to this industry, a Volkswagen will do the job”. “It’s reliable, costs are minimal in comparison to other brands – and it does as good a job, if not better”.
Q: There are several trucks in the range (FT3, FT5, FT8, FT8TT and FT10) – this allows for a lot of diversity and functionality. Looking down the R&D pipeline, what can customers look forward to?
A: There is a new exciting range that current and future owners can look forward to as far as FT series trucks are concerned. The FT MAX range is going to be the talk of the industry. Taking a quick glance back at the normal FT10 platform, the standard payload is 8 tons on a 4 by 2.
The new FT MAX, built for on-road freight, longer distances and designed to be more economical, will have a payload of 14 tons on a 6 by 2. Selesnick boasts that; “normally this would be on a 6 by 4. The logistics operations are just impressive, allowing for a higher payload at an even cheaper price” – definitely something to keep an eye out for in the future!
Q: We are seeing data of a faster than expected economic recovery following a woeful 2020, do you agree?
A: “There are signs of green-shoots but no fireworks should be expected for 2021, unfortunately.
Although we are no longer in a lockdown, we can still see the effects of 2020.”
The growth for Selesnick has somewhat “flatlined, allowing the better performers to maintain their fleets and increase maintenance on them but with buying staying on a minimal”.
To further elaborate, Selesnick says “all viable fleets jumped for relaxation on payments, which we offered (of course), meaning 2021 is the time for them all to concentrate on catching up”.
Q: The new FT5 will be launching soon. Is it “it’s everything and more”?
A: Selesnick spills some of the secret sauce – “Clients can now expect a new FT5 range with Daimler and Chrysler genetics taking it to a whole new level. To keep you in suspense, we are only listing a few new additions to the FT5 range in this article, the rest you can discover post launch (mid-June 2021). Here are some of what you can look forward to. “Nicer look, greater driver comfort, lighter, improved stability due to advanced chassis, daylight running lights, full airbrake system” and two unique selling points that we will describe in as few words as possible;“The CANbus electronic wiring system” and “an AMT gearbox”.
Q: Looking at the competitor landscape, can you highlight a few reasons as to why any potential buyer should consider an FT series truck for his/her business?
A: “Clients get the best life cycle cost with complete ease of servicing and parts availability.
Furthermore, partnerships with high-end clients such as Foton and Daimler confirm our reliability and quality”. If that isn’t enough to convince you then let the constant, consistent and confirmed backing of Ever Star Industries prove to you why an FT series truck is such a great option.
Q: Can you describe the FT Series in less than 10 words?
Selesnick laughed at this question because he does not think 10 words is possible – but here’s his attempt (in 19 words); “Better built, better backed, locally assembled and supported by three of the biggest names in the trucking automotive industry”.
“I could rattle on for days about the brand but at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding.” For Selesnick, the “key clients are testament to who we are in the market segment and there are no tricks. We are a solid performer and investment in trucking solutions”.
“If you could move it with an ox wagon, you wouldn’t need trucks” – the automotive trucking
industry unequivocally needs the FT Series range.