It’s no secret that one of South Africa’s favourite vehicle types is the good-ole, trusty bakkie. Because of our terrain and the amount of outdoor driving, many South Africans do it’s a staple in the automotive market, and with the recent addition of Chinese and Indian brands to the segment, the options for consumers have expanded.
The well-known Japanese and American brands have had an unbreakable foothold in the South African market for a long time, but with lots of potential buyers trying to get something more affordable, the market has been blown wide open.
There are still some question marks over the quality and offerings of some of the new arrivals, but if the increasing sales numbers of their bakkies are anything to go by, it seems like they’re giving the market a feasible alternative to the usual fare. We’re going to look at some the best options when it comes to bakkies that are a little easier on the wallet.
Tata 207 Di Worker – R 171,995
The Tata 207 Worker is a single-cab bakkie, so it’s really best designed primarily for transporting items and little else. Despite its utilitarian design and matching price, the 207 is struggling in terms of sales numbers. One reason for this might be that its 52kW engine lacks the kind of power that makes it sufficiently capable in off-road situations. Being primarily geared for urban transport might deter a lot of buyers, which is indicated by Tata’s Super Ace flatbed outselling the 207 exponentially. Nonetheless, if a passable bakkie is all that’s necessary, the 207 seems like a viable option. Check out more information here.
GWM Steed – R 154,900 (Single Cab) / R 174,900 (Double Cab)
GWM’s Steed is possibly one of the better direct comparisons and competitors to the market favourite options from the likes of Izuzu, Toyota, and Ford. It combines the utility of having a bakkie with the comfortable interior one expects from a 4×4. If a buyer is interested in an alternative to a Hilux or Ranger, the Steed seems to be the first port of call as far as less conventional brands go. The Steed’s competitiveness in the segment seems to be justified by the sales numbers at the beginning of the year, where it was the second best seller in January 2017 for the lesser known brands, second only to Mahindra’s Pik-Up. Check out more on the single-cab Steed and the double-cab option.
Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up – R165,000 (Single Cab 4×2) / R 327, 995 (Double Cab 4×2)
Although it doesn’t boast the decent looks of the GWM Steed, numbers don’t lie – the Mahindra Scorpio is the best seller when it comes to the unsung brands. Due to the price, the majority of those sales are likely to be the Single Cab 2×4 version. The same reasons that the Steed has enjoyed some popularity will likely apply to the Scorpio too, as it has a decent level of comfort in the cabin while still managing to offer the robust versatility of a bakkie. If you’re willing to shell out closer to R350,000, there’s a full 4×4 version available, too. The styling could be a hurdle for some buyers as well, since it’s got a fairly dated look compared to something more modern in appearance like the Steed. Check out more on the single cab and double cab.
New cars aren’t the only consideration when it comes to the increasing adoption of these bakkie brands – pre-owned cars also play a massive role. Many buyers might feel more comfortable looking into a pre-owned bakkie from one of the established brands before considering a Mahindra or GWM – but the longer that these brands stay in the market and improve what they offer the more drivers they’re likely to convert with their more affordable pricing.