• By the end of 2021, South Africa will produce six bakkies international-renowned bakkies.
• The Toyota Hilux and Mahindra Pik Up are built in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal.
• The 2022 Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok will be built at Ford's Silverton plant.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Ask any person which vehicle they're most likely to purchase when the proverbial ship comes in, and you'll probably hear that their vehicle of choice would be a bakkie. And rightly so, because South Africa's best-selling vehicle is the Toyota Hilux. Competing against the Hilux for sales supremacy is the Ford Ranger. These two bakkies are embroiled in a monthly battle with the Volkswagen Polo and Polo Vivo's likes, with the two bakkies almost always garnering more signatures than their passenger car rivals.
It's impressive by any standard, which is why several automakers opted to produce bakkies in South Africa. Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape all play home to vehicle manufacturing, with the South African consumer, perhaps unknowingly, rewarding the automaker's trust in the local market.
Here are all the mainstream bakkies produced in South Africa.
Kwazulu-Natal plays home to two international bakkies' production. At Prospecton, Toyota builds its best-selling Hilux, while at the Dube Tradeport Special Economic Zone (SEZ), next to the King Shaka International airport, Mahindra produces its Pik Up bakkie. Both bakkies find their production homes in Durban. As is the case with the rest of the bakkies in this list, the Hilux and Pik Up are produced for both the local and international market.
In Port Elizabeth, Isuzu South Africa produces its D-Max bakkie. The D-Max is the third best-selling bakkie after the Hilux and Ranger, and is available in single, extended, and double cab. Later this year, Isuzu SA will begin production on the all-new D-Max that will go on sale locally in 2022. The D-Max would have gone on sale in 2021, but Covid-19 and its consequences pushed the South African product launch back by a year.
Ford South Africa does duty in two South African provinces. In the Eastern Cape, 'down the road' from Isuzu, they produce the Ranger's engine. Up North, in Gauteng, the Ranger's assembly takes place in Silverton. The automaker transports the engines from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria where it's placed in the assembled Ranger's bonnet.
Earlier in February 2021, Ford SA and President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an R15 billion investment in the automaker's Silverton plant. The investment will see upgrades made to the production to handle both the new Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok's production capacity. That's right, from 2022, the Amarok and Ranger will be built alongside each other, and share many components in a new partnership agreement between the two automotive powerhouses.
Nissan is also getting in on the action and will produce its new Navara double cab bakkie at its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria. Nissan's plans for the new Navara seems to be on course, as the automaker looks to launch the new, SA-built Navara to the local market in the coming months.
There's never been a better time to support local.