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Chinese Bakkies Shaking Up the South African Market

As the South African automotive market evolves, Chinese manufacturers are making a significant impact with their range of affordable, feature-packed, and performance-oriented bakkies. Traditional brands are facing stiff competition from newcomers like GWM, JAC Motors, LDV, and Peugeot, each offering unique strengths and innovations.

GWM P-Series: Leading the Charge

The GWM P-Series, known globally as the Poer, is Great Wall Motors’ flagship entry into the South African bakkie segment. Launched at the Chengdu Motor Show in 2019 and introduced locally in late 2020, the P-Series is designed for both passenger and commercial use, boasting durability and versatility on the new P71 platform.

Fast Facts:

  • Price: R694,950
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel, four-cylinder
  • Power and Torque: 120 kW and 400 N.m
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Fuel Consumption: 9.4 L/100 km
  • Drivetrain: 4×4
  • Interior: High-quality materials, advanced infotainment system, leather seats, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist.
  • Safety: Multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, traction control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Within GWM’s lineup, buyers can also consider the single and double-cab Steed 5, starting from R305,950. With plans to introduce the larger and more tech-filled P500 bakkie, GWM is poised to further strengthen its market presence.

JAC T9: Robust and Modern

The JAC T9, known as the Shuailing T9 in China, debuted globally in late 2021 and arrived in South Africa in early 2023. Built on a new ladder-frame chassis, the T9 is designed for enhanced rigidity and off-road capability, making it a strong contender in the bakkie market.

Fast Facts:

  • Price: R659,900
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel, four-cylinder
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Power and Torque: 125 kW and 410 N.m
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.8 L/100 km
  • Interior: Practical with a multimedia system, air conditioning, and comfortable seating.
  • Safety: ABS, airbags, stability control, and rear parking sensors.

Related: Review: JAC T9 4X4 Super Lux

The JAC T9 combines robustness with modern amenities, offering a reliable and capable bakkie that won’t break the bank.

LDV T60: Versatile and Affordable

The LDV T60, from SAIC Motor’s LDV brand, has been a popular choice since its 2016 launch. Built on a ladder-frame chassis, the T60 promises durability and off-road capability for both commercial and personal use.

Fast Facts:

  • Price: R790,000
  • Engine: 2.0-litre biturbo diesel, four-cylinder
  • Power and Torque: 160 kW and 500 N.m
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Fuel Consumption: 9.3 L/100 km
  • Interior: Touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, leather upholstery in higher trims, and ample cabin space.
  • Safety: Multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, traction control, and stability control.

The LDV T60 lineup includes the more powerful T60 Max Luxe as the range-topper, along with a more affordable 120 kW variant.

Peugeot Landtrek: European Flair with Chinese Affordability

The Peugeot Landtrek, developed in collaboration with Changan Automobile, features a modern ladder-frame chassis and blends utility with Chinese-built affordability. Launched in early 2020, the Landtrek has gained popularity in Latin America and Africa.

Fast Facts:

  • Price: R705,900
  • Engine: 1.9-litre turbo diesel
  • Power and Torque: 110 kW and 350 N.m
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Fuel Consumption: 9.1 L/100 km
  • Interior: Large touchscreen infotainment system, premium upholstery, advanced driver assistance systems, and spacious cabin.
  • Safety: Multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, hill start assist, traction control, and more.

Set to go into production at a Stellantis facility in the Eastern Cape by 2026, the Landtrek is expected to become even more affordable and appealing.

Foton Tunland G7: The New Entrant

The Foton Tunland G7, part of Foton’s diverse LCV portfolio, marks the brand’s focus on performance, safety, and sustainability. Slated for a South African launch on June 25, 2024, details and pricing are yet to be confirmed.

Fast Facts:

  • Price: TBC
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbodiesel, four-cylinder
  • Power and Torque: 120 kW and 390 N.m
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.4 L/100 km
  • Interior: 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
  • Safety: Multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, 360-degree camera.

Related: Foton Confirms Launch Date for New Bakkie in SA

As Chinese bakkies make their mark in South Africa, they bring a compelling mix of affordability, modern features, and performance. Each model offers unique strengths, challenging the traditional players in the market. Do you think any of these Chinese bakkies have what it takes to unsettle the status quo in the segment? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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