High emissions, out-of-date passenger cabs, gas-guzzling -- heavy-duty trucks often leave a clunky image in people's minds.
Yet Jiefang, the first auto brand to come from Changchun-based FAW, the cradle of China's automotive industry, has reversed the stereotype with its latest J7 trucks.
With a streamlined body and a full-vision cab equipped with a one-piece dashboard, the J7 truck provides enough space for both the driver and passengers to walk freely in the compartment.
Since its launch in late November last year, Jiefang J7 trucks have gained a reputation with its European-level performance and reliability and price advantage over imported trucks.
The Chinses truck maker has developed seven generations of truck products in six decades, with a combined production of over 7 million units.
The first home-grown Jiefang truck rolled off the assembly line three years after FAW broke ground on July 15, 1953, in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province. It was the first motor vehicle produced by China.
Jiefang CA10, the first-generation truck, soon became the main force in China's road transportation and had various civilian variants such as ambulances, refueling trucks, water tankers, dump trucks and lift trucks.
In its 30 years of production until 1986, CA10 trucks set an output record of 1.28 million units, which was almost half of China's total production during that period.
Industry insiders say Jiefang is like a totem to the Chinese automotive industry and has nurtured many management and engineering talent for the country.
Hu Hanjie, chairman of the FAW Jiefang Automotive Co., Ltd., said independent innovation never stops at Jiefang, which places a high priority on its technological strategy to ensure a market-leading position.
As some domestic truck manufacturers partner with established global brands to grab market share, Jiefang was all alone. However, it held its R&D forces, core technology and time-honored brand tightly in its hands, Hu added.
The company leads the industry in setting a world-class standard warranty of three years with no mileage limit and has amazed its industry peers with an extended oil drain interval as high as 100,000 km for engines, gearboxes and rear axles of its trucks.
Jiefang also developed many customized truck products to suit multiple road and weather conditions across the country and is exploring new frontiers like self-driving and smart logistics. It plans to put self-driving vehicles into commercial operation on expressway by 2023.
"Jiefang has witnessed and made contributions to China's development and will have a brighter future as the country prospers," Hu said.