2009.04.16: April 16, 2009: Headlines: COS - Ukraine: Automotive Digest: Ukraine RPCV Jared Schnader heads Market Development. for Foton America

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ukraine: Peace Corps Ukraine : Peace Corps Ukraine: Newest Stories: 2009.04.16: April 16, 2009: Headlines: COS - Ukraine: Automotive Digest: Ukraine RPCV Jared Schnader heads Market Development. for Foton America

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Ukraine RPCV Jared Schnader heads Market Development. for Foton America

Ukraine RPCV Jared Schnader heads Market Development. for  Foton America

"Foton America isn't just buses. We also work in trucks; we have light, medium and heavy duty trucks, agricultural tractors, electric scooters and electric bicycles that we are bringing to the market. Our 40 foot city transit buses can be powered by LNG, CNG, diesel, hybrid diesel electric and hydrogen. We are focusing highly on our alternative fuels."

Ukraine RPCV Jared Schnader heads Market Development. for Foton America

Interview with Jared Schnader

Tell the marketplace what Foton Bus is all about and what you are doing.

Foton America isn't just buses. We also work in trucks; we have light, medium and heavy duty trucks, agricultural tractors, electric scooters and electric bicycles that we are bringing to the market. Our 40 foot city transit buses can be powered by LNG, CNG, diesel, hybrid diesel electric and hydrogen. We are focusing highly on our alternative fuels.

The distribution in this country is being handled exclusively by your company or are you going through distributors or dealers? What about bus distribution?

Foton America has been working on this project for two years now. We are the sole importer of Foton products to America and we have exclusive rights to distribute our buses and trucks however we see fit. We are using a dealership network on the buses as well as on the trucks. Our heavy duty trucks are going to be marketed through municipalities. Our heavy duty trucks can be used as refuse trucks, street sweepers. We can use them for any municipality's needs. Our medium duty trucks are just a smaller class delivery trucks. You have your street sweepers as well and our light duty trucks can be used as short haul delivery vehicles usually inner cities, but obviously this is for whatever the end user would like it to be.

The bus distribution will be focusing on municipalities as well. The buses currently are running about 20 percent less than the competitors. Our buses, we are guaranteeing a six month delivery time which is half the time of the current bus manufacturer's delivery schedules.

All of those trucks are being sold through dealers that can service them or are they being sold directly? When do you expect to have these trucks available or are they now?

The light duty trucks are sold through dealers who will be able to service the trucks themselves. The medium and heavy duty trucks are sold through Foton America and we will have a service network that has 230 service stations throughout the country.

They aren't on the street yet. We are working that way. We believe that they will be on the street, fully operational and mass produced in America by the first quarter of 2010, meeting the EPA 2010 standards

You have a partnership with Auto Driveaway. Describe why you have that relationship, how it works and how does that tie into your distribution of both your trucks and buses?

Since we do work with alternative fuels and are focusing nationwide, we have to move our vehicles from one end of the country to the other. As we go through these different shows where we present our vehicles, we have to get those vehicles transported. Our bus is a natural gas bus that we have as our prototype to show here in the country. We are moving it from Fontana, California to Orlando, Florida - obviously a very long distance, and with the current fueling infrastructure for natural gas, we have had to find different ways to move this bus around. Initially we were having it put on the back of a flat bed truck and shipped to our different shows. However, now that we found Auto Driveaway, they are able to use a hybrid system of driving it themselves, which costs less to have a driver on the ground driving our bus from point to point where they are able to fuel it. Whenever they are not able to fuel it, they can put it on the back of a flat bed truck, so it will actually save us money in the long run.

Do you see your distribution involving up-fitters and adding equipment to the vehicle, and would a company like Auto Driveaway be a part of that delivery process?

We will let our dealers make that decision as far as the up-fitting goes. If a customer wants a certain body on the back it will be the dealer's job to supply that to them and the dealer will go through the body manufacturer themselves. If they choose to use Auto Driveaway, absolutely. That may be the best alternative for them.

Will the dealers that you have also be distributing, servicing and selling other brands of trucks, or just Foton?

We encourage a multi-line dealership. As you've seen in recent days or recent years, the uni-lined sales model does not always work. It is very difficult to hold just one line and not be able to sell across the board. If your customer wants a different vehicle, you want to be able to offer it to him. We do encourage our dealers to have a multi-line dealership.

After graduating with a bachelors degree in Finance from the University of Alabama, Jared Schnader served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine as part of the Economic Development project. In the city of Poltava, Jared taught marketing and management at the Technical University of Poltava and the Institute of Economics and Law. He also helped local businesses strengthen their overall profit-making capacity, developed community service projects and helped organize numerous leadership conferences. Following his Peace Corps service, Jared worked in sales and marketing before being brought into Foton America to head up Market Development.



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Story Source: Automotive Digest

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ukraine

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