The vans both carry the name ‘K1’, and the Chinese carmaker has inked a deal with VSA Distributors of Queensland to handle distribution and sales of its new-to-Australia models.
Foton’s only other model in Australia (aside from its light trucks) - the Tunland pickup - is currently distributed by Ateco, having switched from FAA Automotive in April and been subsequently relaunched.
VSA is currently recruiting a dealer base to sell and service the K1, so it remains to be seen if the K1 will be sold at any existing Foton dealers.
The good news for buyers is that the K1 will be offered with the well-regarded 2.8 litre Cummins turbo-diesel engine as fitted to the Tunland, producing 120kW and 360Nm.
Customers will also have the option of a Mitsubishi-sourced 2.4 litre petrol-powered engine making 100kW and 200Nm - as seen in the Great Wall V240 pickup. All K1s will initially be available with a five-speed manual transmission only.
VSA boss Jason Pecotic said the K1 is cost effective, well-built and practical, and that other Foton models way join the K1 in Australia in the future.
"Foton is one of the leaders in commercial vehicle production not only in terms of Chinese manufacturers but on a global basis," Mr Pecotic said.
"The initial offering will be the K1 van, but other models are under consideration and Foton is looking at a number of options for 2015 and beyond."
The K1 will compete with the likes of Toyota’s HiAce - with which it shares many dimensions - the Hyundai iLoad / iMax twins, Ford’s new Transit and the recently-relaunched LDV V80; which is also sourced from China.
The 2015 Foton K1 will launch early next near. Stay tuned to TMR for more.
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