Vietnamese auto firm to ship semi-trailers to US

By Nguyen Dung    April 10, 2020 | 03:10 am PT
Vietnamese automaker THACO has succeeded in “swimming upstream”, selling its vehicles, mechanical parts and components abroad despite the severe Covid-19 pandemic impacts.

Its success has also taken place in the current context of fierce competition in the auto industry.

The company has recently worked with an American partner to export semi-trailers made at its plant in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, Quang Nam Province to the U.S. -- one of the world's most challenging markets with strict requirements on product quality.

THACO’s plant in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, Quang Nam Province.

THACO’s plant in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, Quang Nam Province.

THACO is set to export the first batch of 69 semi-trailers to the U.S. at the end of May 2020, and sign a dealership agreement with PIITS Enterprises.

In 2020, the Vietnamese automaker expects to ship overseas a total of about 1,600 vehicles of different kinds worth around $50 million.

This February, THACO and PIITS signed a memorandum of understanding on production and distribution of THACO semi-trailers in the U.S. Under the MoU, Dorsey Intermodal - a subsidiary of PITTS Enterprises - will be the representative of THACO in North America.

THACO’s products and services will be distributed and guaranteed via Dorsey’s network to ensure quality standards and satisfy American customers’ demand.

Aware that America is a challenging market with great potential, THACO has researched the market thoroughly and then met and discussed a cooperation strategy with PITTS Enterprises - one of the five largest manufacturers of semi-trailers in North America with a history of more than 100 years.

Fiber lazer cutting machin in THACO Chu Lai Mechanical Complex.

Fiber lazer cutting machin in THACO Chu Lai Mechanical Complex.

Hi-tech investment

The company’s latest achievements have its roots in 2016, when it established the THACO Special Vehicles Manufacturing Limited Company (THACO SV) to produce high quality semi-trailers, special vehicles, and heavy-duty special vehicles with the features satisfying diverse demand in both domestic and overseas markets.

The factory is equipped with modern facilities, advanced and automatic technology in all processes, including the laser cutting machine (CO2 laser/fiber laser); CNC plasma cutting machine with 0.2~1.0 mm tolerance; automatic welding robots and jig systems controlled by pneumatic and hydraulic components; advanced shot blasting technology to eliminate residual stress, increase the adhesion of primer and improves corrosion and fatigue resistance; and electronic deposition (ED) painting technology, which creates a special primer that covers every single part, efficiently preventing rust and withstanding harsh climates (below 0 degrees).

The company said it pays special attention to quality control at every single stage. Products are tested by modern equipment imported from Japan, Italy and South Korea. An automotive proving ground with a total length of 2.4 km  at the THACO-Chu Lai Industrial Park fully simulates actual terrain with ramps, slippery roads, gravel, winding stretches and flat roads, and vehicles can be tested at different speeds.

A highly professional R&D engineering team oversees the company’s research and development (R&D) activities using quality design and simulation software including AutoCAD, Catia and Hyperworks.

THACO’s  20ft sliding semi-trailer.

THACO’s  20ft sliding semi-trailer.

An export focus

THACO SV produces and supplies a full range of special vehicles from mid-sized to heavy vehicles, meeting the diverse demands of customers. Its main products include all kinds of semi-trailers (skeleton, gooseneck, flatbed...); and special vehicles such as dump semi-trailers, cargo semi-trailers, fuel tanks, concrete mixers, car carrier semi-trailers and heavy crane trucks. 

Aside from serving the domestic market, the company also focuses on developing export products customized to the needs of each partner and market while meeting all the standards and regulations of importing countries.

So far, THACO’s semi-trailers, fuel tanks and concrete mixers have been exported to Columbia and South Korea. Its semi-trailers have been granted with roadworthy certification in the U.S., Japan and ASEAN countries.

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