These three half-tonne double-cab bakkies could do exceptionally well in SA


What is wrong with South Africa's bakkie market? On the face of it, nothing.

It's healthy. It's the strongest segment of the new car market, all the most influential manufacturers have one, or a few, in their line-up… Nothing out of the ordinary, right?

You'd be right for guessing so, and we might be inclined to agree, but there is one section of the bakkie market that is not doing as well as it perhaps could have - the half-tonne market.

Following the exit of the Ford Bantam and Chevrolet Ute, the Nissan NP200 is the only remaining half-tonner in South Africa. It is without rival and the thousand units (on average) it sells per month, continually puts it in the top five of best-selling bakkies in SA.

While this is good for Nissan, automakers like Ford and Volkswagen might be missing out on a piece of the pie.

Here are three half-tonne bakkies that could potentially do well if it should debut in South Africa.

Would you buy any of the bakkies listed here over a Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, or VW Amarok? Email and tell us why.

volkswagen tarok

Volkswagen Tarok. Image: Volkswagen NewsRoom

'Ford Bronco pick-up'

The Bronco was revealed in 2019 and is the newest SUV Ford will bring to market. Other markets, like the USA, have already been earmarked to receive the Bronco, but what about a bakkie?

Kleber Silva, a Brazilian designer, put his skills to the test and created a double cab bakkie based on the Bronco. The bakkie draws strongly on the Bronco and continues with the SUV's retro styling and upright design.

When the Bronco SUV hits the market, it is rumoured that it will feature the 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that does duty in the Mustang. In the 2020 Mustang, the engine delivers 213kW and 441Nm. The Bronco will be fitted with an all-wheel-drive system.

Ford Bronco pick-up

Ford Bronco pick-up. Image: Kleber Silva

Volkswagen Tarok

Like South Africa, markets like Brazil and Argentina are eager to sell bakkies. South America is so popular that Mercedes-Benz launched its X-Class there a few years ago.

But in November last year, Volkswagen took to Brazil to reveal a new half-tonne double cab bakkie. Built on the company's MQB A0 platform that also underscores the Polo and T-Cross, the Tarok is a concept bakkie of what the company has planned for the future. The bakkie measures in 5m in length and will be fitted the VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

At the Brazilian reveal, Volkswagen said that a 110kW 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine will be on offer and will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine, with the same kilowatt output as the 1.4-litre, is also on the cards.

According to the official press release, the bakkie "has the potential to boost Volkswagen's model range in other global markets." Here's to hoping…

volkswagen tarok

Volkswagen Tarok. Image: Volkswagen NewsRoom

Renault Duster Oroch

It's been a very long time coming, but South Africa has been waiting with bated breath for this Renault bakkie to arrive. The Oroch is built on the architecture that underpins the Duster SUV, but just can't secure a set timeline for a local debut.

Given that it's based on the Duster, one can expect this bakkie to be powered by the same engines that do duty in its SUV sibling. This means the possibility of both the naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine and 1.5-litre turbo diesel featuring under the bonnet. Renault also introduced a turbocharged petrol engine to the Indian market earlier this year, but it's unlike it will arrive locally. 

READ: French bakkie invasion - Renault Oroch & Alaskan for SA

To a large degree, it is not impossible to fathom that the likes of Ford and Volkswagen are waiting on Renault. If the Oroch, a half-tonner that'll slot in beneath the (Ford) Ranger and (VW) Amarok, is well-received, it might force these automakers' hands to bring their respective offerings to market.

If all goes well, however, the Oroch might make its South African debut in 2021.

Renault Duster Oroch

Renault Duster Oroch. Image: Renault Media

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