R11-billion new PE factory: Chinese SUVs to be built in SA
Ferdi De Vos
Growth in Africa
BAIC has been doing business in South Africa for a while, though.
It started about twenty years ago when for a while BJC (the Beijing Jeep Company) marketed their ageing BJ2020, powered by a Chrysler engine, locally. BJC is nowadays known as Beijing Benz.
Some BAW one-ton pickups were also imported here in the early 2000’s (they became CAM Rhino later on) before a SAIC company and two local partners in 2012 invested R196-million in a new facility in Springs to assemble 16-seater BAW Sasuka taxis here.
Meanwhile Foton, under the Imperial banner, also entered the SA market with its Tunland bakkie range. Chairman of the SAIC group Xu Heyi, as quoted by china.org.cn, said continued investment in infrastructure development will be key for the company’s sustained growth in Africa over the next decade.
Why invest in SA, Africa?
Heyi said: “We will continue to invest in our South African factories to make pickups and light trucks. Having factories in Africa will help the company move closer to the market and avoid it paying duties of up to 25%, and more than 50% of the plant’s production will be exported.”