Foton, otherwise known as Foton Motor is a large Chinese manufacturer that specialises in light, medium and heavy vehicles for the commercial sector, with four vehicles on offer here in Australia.

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Founded in 1996, Foton grew quickly after creating vehicles specifically designed to help serve China’s rapidly-growing commercial sector, with its light, medium and heavy-duty truck range used as buses, and for logistics, cargo-carrying and construction work.

Foton has become a subsidiary of the wider BAIC Group, and in the past has signed joint-venture agreements with Daimler, the parent-company of Mercedes-Benz, Cummins, the world’s largest independent engine manufacturer and ZF, a transmission specialist.

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Foton current models

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Foton models by body type

Foton FAQs

Foton is very much still operating here in Australia, with its Australian distributor, Foton Australia offering a lineup of four vehicles, including the Auman EST-M, Aumark S BJ1078, Aumark S BJ1078 Tipper and the Aumark S BJ1088. 

Foton Australia also offers a range of accessories for some of the models previously available here in Australia, and has a dealership of 19 outlets around Australia for servicing, maintanence and fitment of aftermarket parts.

Foton does not sell any passenger cars here in Australia, instead focussing its attention to the light, medium and heavy truck segments. 

Its past creations like the Foton Tunland ute have received mixed reliability scores, while the company’s most recent creations like the Auman EST-M, Aumark S BJ1078, Aumark S BJ1078 Tipper and the Aumark S BJ1088 have received fairly positive feedback for reliability. 

This is, in part, because Foton turns to engine manufacturing giant, Cummins, for the majority of its powertrain components, and Cummins has a very well-established reputation when it comes to both the performance of its engines and long-term reliability.

Prices for Foton’s current lineup here in Australia kick off from $53,990 for the entry-level BJ1088 for the cab chassis variant while the steel tray variant brings the price to $58,990. Foton’s BJ1078 is priced at $55,990 with a cab chassis, while the BJ1078 with a steel tray is priced at $55,990

Stepping up to the BJ1078 Tipper brings the price up to $66,990, while the range-topping Auman EST-M is priced at $78,990. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

Foton is a subsidiary of the wider BAIC Group, and has its headquarters based in the Changping district of Beijing. It was founded in 1996 and created a range of trucks for the commercial sector, as well as some tractors for agricultural use and eventually buses for the public transportation sector and passenger vehicles. 

These days, the company operates here in Australia selling predominantly light to medium trucks, the largest of which, the EST-M has a gross vehicle mass rated at 12 tonnes.

In 2006, Foton signed an agreement with Cummings Inc., one of the world’s largest independent engine manufacturers to launch a joint-venture engine company known as the Beijing Foton Cummings Engine Company. 

This 50:50 joint venture means that Cummins turbo-diesel engines ranging between 2.8-litres and 3.8-litres are used in Foton’s trucks sold here in Australia. 

The BJ1078 comes powered by a 3.8-litre turbo-diesel unit from Cummins producing 115kW of power and 500Nm of torque which is paired with a six-speed ZF manual transmission and gives it a gross vehicle mass of 7495kg. 

The company’s largest vehicle on sale here in Australia, the EST-M is powered by a Cummins ISF 4.5-litre turbo-diesel engine producing 157kW of power and 760Nm of torque and a six-speed ZF manual transmission that give it a 12000kg gross vehicle mass.

Foton’s assembly plant is based in the Hanghang district of Pyongyang, North Korea under the Samhung Joint Venture Company.

The company has also announced plants to create manufacturing lines for its vehicles in Columbia to target the South American commercial vehicle market, as well as a manufacturing line in West Maharashtra, India. Foton has also announced plans for a bus manufacturing line in the state of Bahia, Brazil, atop plans to manufacture its vehicles in Bangladesh and Thailand.

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