- JAC Motors entered the local market in 2017.
- It currently sells two bakkies here: the T-Series double cab and X-Series small trucks.
- The new T9 Hunter arrives during the second quarter of 2023.
Jac Motors is gearing up to launch a new, top-of-the-range double cab bakkie in South Africa, and it is quite the looker.
The Chinese automaker has been around South Africa since 2017 when Haval Motors started selling cars here. While their two pickup trucks (read: bakkies) have been moving under 100 units monthly, it's still better than more established local brands.
JAC Motors South Africa has announced its plans to launch its new top-of-the-range T9 double-cab series in 2023. The new T9 Hunter range, comprising four models, including 4x4 and 4x2 derivatives, will lead the company's quest in the competitive lifestyle segment of the double-cab bakkie market. However, we'll have to see if the bakkie can live up to the quality and success of fellow Chinese brands like Chery and Haval, including the GWM P-Series bakkie.
The T9, developed for both left- and right-hand drive markets, is manufactured in China, utilising state-of-the-art production facilities. The T9 turbo-diesel derivative will be introduced in South Africa and Australia in the second semester of 2023, with a PHEV derivative following at the end of the year. The battery-electric derivative's introduction is planned for early 2024.
The new T9 has a bold design, and its large body measuring 5.33 m in length, 1.96m wide and 1.92m high, and its wheelbase of 3.11m created tremendous interest when it was first shown to the public at the Beijing Auto Show in 2020. Since then, more R&D has been done to prepare the new T9 for its global launch in one of the world's most competitive market segments.
"We are excited about the imminent arrival of the new T9 Hunter range. Bakkie buyers will love its large body design because local customer research highlights that a bakkie's actual size is one of the most important buying motivators when it is purchased," says Karl-Heinz Göbel, CEO of JAC Motors South Africa.
JAC Motors says the T9 Hunter's 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine produces 125kW and 410Nm sending the power through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels. The T9 4x4 derivatives feature a part-time 4x4 system with a low-range transfer case and a rear diff-lock. It offers a towing mass of 3 500 kg (braked).
Local specification levels still need to be confirmed, but the T9 range will only be available in an eight-speed automatic transmission to ensure a relaxing driving experience.
Active- and passive safety features include seven airbags, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring, a surround-view parking camera and ISOFIX child seat anchors.
Other standard equipment includes a 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, wireless phone charging, a 7-inch driver information screen, heated power-adjustable front seats, partial leather trim, a 220V power outlet and climate control with air ducts for passengers in the back of the cab.
Göbel adds that the new T9 Hunter will be a welcome addition to the local T-Series, comprising the T8 and T6 product ranges, as it will offer additional variants at the top end for the dealers to sell.
"South Africa and Australia are important markets in JAC Motors' plans to increase its global right-hand drive market share; that is why we get the latest high-tech products like the T9 and the battery-electric N-Series trucks early in their product lifecycles", says Göbel.
Pricing and standard specification for the JAC T9 Hunter range will be announced closer to its launch next year.