Euro 4 not the end of the road
Manufacturers and dealers in the UAE are well prepared in advance to meet higher emission standards and view the new regulation as a natural progression toward cleaner technology
Since the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) mandated that all trucks imported in the UAE from 2018 must meet Euro 4 emission standards, manufacturers have gone one step ahead by launching Euro 5 compliant vehicles with engine improvements and higher fuel efficiency. The likes of Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo have reiterated their support to the government’s efforts in lowering pollution levels by introducing environment-friendly trucks that are more fuel-efficient.
In March 2018, Mercedes-Benz Trucks launched the new Actros and Arocs range available with three different engines complying with Euro 4 and Euro 5 emission norms. Within a month, Volvo followed with the launch of Euro 5 trucks with advanced safety features. The latest Euro 5 truck launch, in April, was the Ford 3543T 6x4 tractor head series, which will be available in the UAE from Q2018.
All these manufacturers decided to offer Euro 5 trucks in the UAE market because the diesel quality in the country is suitable for Euro 5 standards. They’ve also indicated that that Euro 4 is not the end of the road, and that they are ready to comply with higher emission standards. Along with dealers, their immediate priority is to educate customers about UAE’s sustainable strategy and the roadmap for emission reductions and increase their focus on total cost of ownership, performance, safety, and driver training.
Dealers, who have until the end of 2018 to sell their previous models, need to tackle the challenges of increase in upfront costs of Euro 4 vehicles, increase in maintenance expenses, longer fleet replacement cycles, and increase in demand for short-term leasing.
“No surprises here as far as Al Naboodah Group Enterprises and its principals are concerned,” says Ajit Kumar, COO, commercial, transport and electrical divisions, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises. “We anticipated the change after the government began discussions with various stakeholders a few years ago, before formulating the legislation.”
ANGE has been supplying Euro 4 and Euro 5 rated engines since 2009 to select customers in the UAE. The early start gave the company the opportunity to validate the performance of the engines and train its service teams to provide the required aftersales support.
“We have delivered over 520 DAF Euro 4 and Euro 5 engines, and these engines have performed exceptionally well and covered over a million kilometres under the extremely difficult operating environment of the region. In a nutshell, it means that we are already prepared and ahead of the market with the requisite knowledge regarding performance and maintenance,” says Kumar.
Kumar points out that DAF works with its partners to manufacture trucks with reduced fuel consumption, longer service intervals, reliable components, customised warranty packages and customisation for specific applications. According to him, this collaboration ensures optimum performance and hence a reduced total cost of ownership.
“ANGE is a partner of choice with several decades of experience in providing after sales support. In fact, we are the largest heavy commercial vehicle distributor in the country and are fully geared with multiple workshops, outdoor service vans and skilled technicians. We provide the lowest down time for our customers, customised service packages, financing opportunities, and work with our customers to ensure that the trucks we supply are always kept running,” says Kumar.
Addressing the buyer concern about increase upfront costs Kumar says: “Initially, the trucks will be slightly more expensive to purchase; however, long-term ownership and operation will be more feasible through reduced fuel consumption, increased service intervals and fleet replacement based on applications and usage. We have our in-house leasing team to provide short-term leasing options for standard trucks and long-term leasing solutions for specialised trucks.”
Kumar says the company is more than prepared to move further ahead and help its customers make the transition to Euro 6 standards.
“Al Naboodah Group Enterprises is the first company in the region to have tested Euro 6 engines over a period of one year and we can proudly say that this test gave us the opportunity to validate several operational parameters. We are pleased to say that the engine has worked extremely well during the peak summer months of June to September,” he says.