Chinese carmakers have battled to woo SA consumers despite offering bargain price tags, leading to short-lived stays for some brands. Chery, Geely, Chana, Hafei and others have disappeared from our shores after finding out the hard way that while consumers can do cheap they don’t like nasty, and they also require a decent support infrastructure. The exit of these brands has made consumers even more Chinese-wary, but BAIC has bucked the trend by investing billions in a vehicle manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth, which implies it won’t be another fly-by-night operation. BAIC stands for Beijing Automotive International Corporation, though locally the company has adopted the cheesy catchphrase “Better And Ingenious Choice” for the abbreviation. There have been strike-related production delays at the Coega plant, but full-scale production of the BAIC X25 SUV is expected to start early in 2019, to be followed later by assembly of passenger cars and light trucks.

WE LIKE: Price...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now