• Mar 15, 2007
While other manufacturers are hurrying to move factories and parts suppliers to China, Chinese truck maker ChangAn is going the other way. Dallas-based Tiger Truck, the exclusive US importer of ChangAn vehicles, has announced plans to open an assembly plant in Jasper, TX. Tiger's vehicles are for off-road uses here in the US – applications such as groundskeeping, farming, and manufacturing. Tiger CEO Mike Ward is reportedly happy to be hiring U.S. workers and seeking contracts with US OEM suppliers. Tiger will be building two new platforms, the Champ full-size pickup, and a medium-duty truck with gross vehicle weights from 14,000 to 21,000 pounds. Tiger's trucks are EPA/CARB certified, as well as meeting frontal crash-test standards. The drivetrain options are wide-ranging, from 2WD to 4WD, hybrid, diesel, even electric. Tiger is serious about equipping work trucks, and there are all sorts of options and accessories available.
Initially, most of the Jasper plant's output will be for export, but the Tiger folks have designed growth into their plant. The Texas location is good for Tiger's exporting efforts to South America and the Carribean, as well as shipping to all points in the U.S. from their very own rail spur. The 100 employees will be capable of cranking out 7,500 vehicles per shift, according to Tiger's PR materials. If the dealer network and popularity of Tiger products grows, we'd expect to see the operation grow. Even if they're not for on-road use, we can see how these vehicles would be extremely useful, and we're encouraged by the decision to locate in the U.S. and employ U.S. workers, as well as involving U.S. OEMs.

Thanks to tipster Dan!

[Source: PR Inside]

PRESS RELEASE:

Tiger Truck to Build First U.S. Assembly Plant for Chinese Trucks

JASPER, Texas, March 12 -- In a landmark ceremony today, the owners of Tiger Truck, Texas Congressman Kevin Brady and other officials from the state of Texas, City of Jasper and Jasper County, jointly announced the first Assembly Plant in the U.S. for vehicles based on designs by ChangAn Automobile Group, China's third largest. First vehicles will be delivered from here in early 2008 and will be "Made in U.S." Privately held Tiger Truck is the exclusive importer, distributor and now U.S. manufacturer for ChangAn, which in China has manufacturing agreements with Suzuki, Ford and Mazda.

Mike Ward, Founder and CEO of Tiger Truck, observed, "with so many U.S. manufacturers investing in China, I am particularly pleased to be investing in the U.S., hiring skilled U.S. workers and delivering superior products made here for our markets in the Americas. While others are trying to buy cheap parts from China, we are seeking important OEM and sourcing agreements with key U.S. suppliers. I couldn't be more pleased with our long-standing partnership with ChangAn that leads to this historic first. In our off-road vehicle class, Tiger has been first to build an automatic transmission, 4WD, limited slip differential, electric drive, hybrid drive, and now we will be first to deliver true 'Made in U.S.' vehicles with a Chinese heritage. Our strong dealer network and fast-growing number of users seem to like what we are doing and now we can do it even better."

Initially, nearly 80% of the trucks manufactured here will be for export. The Jasper facility will assemble two new truck platforms. The Champ, available in a 2-door or 4-door crew cab, is a full-size pick-up truck with over 3,000 lb. capacity and will be sold to the U.S. and Canadian off-road market. Another version of this platform for export only is called the Leopard and will be configured with a diesel engine, dual rear wheels, and other features that make it suitable for on-road use in those export markets. The second platform (unnamed) is a medium duty truck with GVW of 14,000 lbs., 17,000 lbs. and 21,000 lbs. that will be sold worldwide for on-road use, including the US. This truck will be delivered with an EPA/C.A.R.B. certified diesel engine.

In acquiring this 92 Acre site with more than 250,000 square feet of existing indoor manufacturing space, ample on-site utilities and a rail spur in the building; Tiger Truck has abundant expansion capacity for the foreseeable future. Single shift capacity is 7,500 vehicles per year and will employ 100 people. This location is strategically well-suited for vehicle shipments to destinations throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean Basin. The design of the vehicles and the assembly floor layout make it easy to mix configurations on the line even to the extent of right- hand or left-hand drives. Ward said, "The additional efficiencies that we gain from this new facility will sustain Tiger's ability to continue delivering low-cost, high-value vehicles to all of our selected markets. Even though Henry Ford might have objected, our state-of-the-art paint line will now permit us to deliver a larger palette of finish colors from the factory."

Congressman Brady indicated that, "with all the choices in North America available to Tiger Truck for the location of this important plant serving a large section of the international marketplace, we are particularly pleased that this remarkable facility was now available surrounded by an eager and skilled workforce and positioned as it is to meet so many of your strategic objectives. All of Texas is celebrating this historic first with Tiger and we look forward to many good things to come."

About Tiger Truck, LLC:

Tiger Truck has been delivering a series of multi-use trucks and vans for off-road use since 1999. All Tiger vehicles meet the stringent CARB/EPA standards and are available powered by a variety of fuels, electric drive, and include standard shift or automatic transmissions and a 4WD option. Tiger has the largest available array of truck body options for niche applications. Primary distribution in the U.S. is through a select dealership network. Most vehicles are available under the Federal GSA Purchasing Schedule (Contract #GS-07F0260M). Tiger Truck is a privately-held international company, headquartered in Dallas, TX with distribution outlets throughout the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean basin. See http://www.tigertruck.com/ .


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Typical American business deal,---anything to undermind the national economic interest. Walmart must have a piece of this pie,---maybe the trucks will be exported to the nearest Walmart Superstore to carry around all the cheap Chinese crap that they already sell! Don't get to upset about the chicom flag and the USA flag and the Canadian flag flying all together,---thats right, they are made in China and sold at Walmart.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't exactly see any American companies stepping up to the challenge,which is ironic since they're hiring U.S. workers and will be using U.S. sourced parts!
      • 7 Years Ago
      No American has any business buying this Chicom piece of crap.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We get a few of those small Japanese trucks up here but with right hand drive. This cab-over will fit the same bill.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Will a chicom flag fly over the texas factory?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just realized that they are probably only making the trucks in USA because there is a 25% tariff on imported trucks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Some of the posters are unbelievable. When American companies invest in China, they complain about jobs going abroad, when a Chinese company invests here at home, offering jobs to Americans, they complain about money going abroad. Kind of a double standard if you ask me. The reality of the matter is that with international commerce, national boundaries are not as clearly defined as before. As for those silly comments about the "commies" in China, clearly you have not visited China. China is as about communistic these days as the US, if not less. The only difference is that political rights are still lacking. Having said that, most ppl there are content to see NOTABLE improvement in their lives, regardless of the political system. Finally, I would venture to guess that most who complain about "commie quality", or lack thereof, have never actually driven or even seen a Tiger Truck. Have you looked at your computer, or the keyboard you are typing on? 9 times out of 10 it is a Chinese product, like your TV, stereo, and basically most lower to mid level electrical appliances. Maybe if you ever decide to take those blinders off, you will see the world for what it actually is, rather than what Fox News tells you it is.

      Incidently, I would also point out that as the result of US companies investing in China, most are reaping significant profits, which is reflected in the healthy portfolios of most American mutual funds, and in many of your 401K's. So let's not go off on how the Commies are hurting our bottom line.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow. This is so ugly and of lousy quality. I know these cars from South Africa, where they are very rare because for 1000$ more you get an Opel Corsa Pickup.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it may hit off fairly well. It's certainly got a market not covered by many American companies.

      The question is whether or not some of the smaller models can be licensed for street use. I know here at college they have a couple small utility vans similar to what Tiger offers, but they're not street legal for some reason.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Anybody notice how the Tiger truck logo is like the Starfleet insignia from Star Trek TNG?