“So not only are we celebrating a legendary series, but also our legendary staff who have ensured the range’s ongoing quality and success.”
UD Trucks employees from the company’s head office and its assembly plant in Rosslyn recently celebrated the end of an era, as the last unit of the legendary UD55 to UD100 Medium Duty range came off the line early in June. This series has now been replaced by the new Croner MDT range, which is now assembled at the Rosslyn plant.
During the early post-1994 days, the requirements for local content changed and the then Nissan Diesel planned to replace the Medium Duty range known as the CM Range. It consisted of seven variants ranging from the CM19 to the CM16. Fitted with ADE engines and Astas transmissions, the plan was underway to replace them with the all new A520 range.
The range was originally launched in 1997 with FE6-series engines and the MLS- and MPS-series of Nissan Diesel transmissions. During its lifespan, the A520 to A899 range went through three major facelifts.
“The UD55 to UD100 range served our customers loyally for more than 20 years,” said Gert Swanepoel, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “This is one product range that we can truly say is a legend in its own time. It consistently achieved more than 20% market share in its segment and also spent a good many years as the top selling MDT in the local industry.”
With more than 20 723 units sold since its launch, there are still approximately 75% of these still in operation – evidence of its durability and appeal in the market.
“A few of our staff that are currently working on the assembly line, where also present when the original range was introduced,” said Aubrey Rambau, Rosslyn Plant General Manager. “So not only are we celebrating a legendary series, but also our legendary staff who have ensured the range’s ongoing quality and success.”