The resale value of any vehicle – bakkies included – is significant when shopping for new wheels in South Africa. With bakkies, in fact, it is of massive importance – because companies often operate bakkie fleets. A bakkie buyer can literally lose tens of thousands of Rands when the time comes to sell.
True Price has revealed ten bakkies with the best resale values obtained from auctions. Its data is the shows the percentage of the original selling price achieved on auction. So, the higher the percentage, the better the bakkie performs and the higher its resale value.
The best bakkie in the country – in terms of resale value – will come as no surprise.
"It’s the Toyota Hilux," reveals Darryl Jacobson, managing director of True Price.
Jacobson and the rest of the True Price team attend all major bank repossession auctions in Gauteng. They do this in order to gather data pertaining to vehicle sales. This data is utilised to provide free vehicle evaluations to South African motorists.
"We now have data pertaining to thousands of vehicles on auction on our system. An analysis of this data has revealed some extremely interesting findings when it comes to which bakkies have the best resale value. We have produced a top 10, based on actual prices achieved on auction.
"The figures pertain to the percentage of original selling price that has been achieved on auction," he explains.
1. Toyota Hilux
According to Jacobson, the Toyota brand is one of the most loved and trusted in South Africa. "Motorists believe that they are purchasing reliability and peace of mind when they opt for Toyota," he notes.
A second factor that bodes well for the Hilux is Toyota’s aftersales service.
"Toyota dealers have an outstanding reputation for delivering good service at fair prices. Furthermore, the dealer network is vast, meaning that you don´t have to look long and hard to locate a dealer. Spare parts are also readily available," Jacobson points out.
Whenever a Hilux comes up on auction, Jacobson says it’s a case of bees to honey.
"Interest in these vehicles is always immense – on the part of both the private buyers and dealers too," he said.
2. Chevrolet Utility
This plucky little pick-up – no longer available new in South Africa (thanks to the departure of General Motors) – surprised Jacobson with its number two ranking.
"To be perfectly honest, I would have expected the number two spot to go to the Ford Ranger, because it is an incredibly popular bakkie in South Africa," he comments.
Having said that, Jacobson notes that the Chevrolet Utility is very popular on vehicle auctions.
"Previously badged the Corsa Utility, this benchmark sub-one ton bakkie was re-badged the Chevrolet Utility back in 2010. It was an incredibly popular bakkie; in fact, at the time of re-badging, sales were rapidly approaching the 150 000 mark. After re-badging, its popularity did not wane. And for good reason: it is an affordable, robust and reliable workhorse," Jacobson maintains.
The Isuzu KB is one of the most well-known bakkie derivatives in South Africa, hence its number three ranking. As Jacobson notes, it is now known as the Isuzu D-Max.
"The name was changed in October last year, in line with international naming conventions," he explains.
The name change has done little to dispel enthusiasm for the KB, which was first launched in South Africa in 1978.
"Isuzu D-Max sales volumes were up over 8.7% in 2018 (versus 2017), and the bakkie’s market share is a respectable 14.4%. These bakkies are known to be reliable and durable.
"While they don’t quite have the rock star status of some other bakkie contenders (the Ranger, for instance), Isuzu bakkies are solid contenders that offer good value for money," says Jacobson.
4. Nissan NP200
When it was launched in South Africa in 2009, the NP200 had big shoes (or should that be tyres?) to fill. Its predecessor, the iconic 1400 Nissan Champ (initially the Datsun 1200), had been around for 37 years, and it had clocked up 275 000 sales. Jacobson believes that the NP200 could be just as successful.
"Highly versatile and functional, this affordable half-tonner is a firm favourite on vehicle auctions. Buyers really like its class-leading payload (800kg), load box volume (1.26m3) and load box length (1.81 m) together with its fuel-efficient engines," he reports.
5. Ford Ranger
The Ranger is a terrific bakkie that has been widely praised – both by members of the motoring media and by the buying public in this country. "An analysis of new vehicle sales reveals that it is consistently the second most popular bakkie in South Africa," notes Jacobson.
Buyers like the vehicle’s attractive styling, good levels of comfort and safety features. "Back in 2012, it was the first bakkie to earn five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test," Jacobson reveals.
He adds that bidding on the Ranger is always keen on auction, with interest from both private buyers and dealers.
The Volkswagen Amarok has a large – and growing – fan base, and it has also garnered some sought-after awards. "Most recently, it won the 2018 International Pick-up Award," reveals Jacobson.
He says the judges expressed similar sentiments to auction bidders. "The jury rated the Amarok as the epitome of ‘work hard, play hard’, a core element of the entire pick-up segment and described the Amarok as a ‘top pedigree workhorse’.
"The clear design, the fantastic feel/finish and the workmanship were specifically cited by the jury as being key factors in their decision. The size of the double cab with room for five people, the benchmark in the segment, also impressed with its modern design. The new V6 engine is also a real hit amongst South African motorists," Jacobson reveals.
7. Mazda BT-50
According to Jacobson, the BT-50 is especially popular with recreational buyers. "While it is a capable workhorse, it tends to be purchased by motorists who are wanting to drive it for fun, rather than for business-related purposes," he explains.
First introduced to the South African market in 2012, the BT-50 is popular thanks to its great styling, high quality interior and outstanding driving dynamics. "Buyers also appreciate the fact that it comes with a three-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty, three-year service plan and three years of free roadside assistance," Jacobson reports.
The Nissan Hardbody took a massive knock last year, when Global NCAP and the Automobile Association (AA) South Africa launched the second round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results.
"The Nissan NP300 Hardbody scored the lowest ratings, which was a dire result for this bakkie," Jacobson comments. However, while this has made some buyers nervous, others have remained loyal to this long-standing player within the South African market.
"Buyers like the fact that it is a value-for-money vehicle, which is reliable too. It is not a lifestyle or recreational bakkie; it is a workhorse through and through. Buyers believe that it will get the job done, and that’s what counts," says Jacobson.
The Navara is precisely what the Hardbody is not: a sophisticated vehicle that offers great ride comfort, refinement and panache (considering that it is, after all, a bakkie). The next-generation Navara will be built at Nissan’s Rosslyn factory, following a R3-billion investment.
According to Jacobson, the Navara – which shares a platform with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class – boasts impressive levels of noise, vibration and harshness, a refined driveline and good levels of driver and passenger comfort. "Some people say it’s every bit as good as the X-Class … and I cannot disagree," says Jacobson.
10. GWM Steed
According to Jacobson, the GWM Steed is popular with budget-conscious buyers. "GWM is a brand that has changed opinions of Chinese products in South Africa. Typically, buyers were terrified of buying Chinese, because of inferior quality. The Steed, however, is a solid if basic bakkie.
"It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of many of the other bakkie competitors (the Navara, Amarok and Ranger, for instance). However many buyers don’t care. They want a bakkie that is cheap, and the Steed fits the bill," Jacobson concludes.