Chinese Bakkies Gain African Foothold

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chinese bakkies gain african foothold

The South African term [of endearment] for a pickup truck is a "bakkie." Right. So. While the world waits and wonders about the potential impact of a flood of Chinese-made cars on the international auto scene, iAfrica reports that cheap Chinese pickups are pouring into the South African market, driving down prices of two to three-year-old Japanese bakkies. While owner-drivers are still opting for "quality," the fleet market is one with the Chinese pickups' "cheap as chips" appeal. Brand Pretorius, chairman of McCarthy Motor Holdings, says he's not worried that Chinese cars will have a similar effect on the passenger vehicle market. With freight costs and a 30 percent import tariff, Chinese automakers fight an uphill battle against locally made product with export credits (e.g. the Chevrolet Spark). "It will be tough for Chinese manufacturers to undercut the current entry-level small cars by a significant margin, so the impact won't be as severe."

Join the conversation
  • Omnivore Omnivore on Oct 05, 2007

    I think you have a typo in the photo caption ... ChangAn Auto Group was founded in 1862? Unless Karl Benz was the Marco Polo of his generation, and he stole the idea for automobiles from the Chinese, kind of like Marco Polo stole pasta.

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Oct 05, 2007

    Notice the parenthetical ("such as it is"). The caption is LOADED with inaccuracies.