With the final stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally coming to a close on 15 January, the battle for the 15 stages have come to an end. The 55-year old Frenchman Stéphane Petehansel, who has been nick-named Mr. Dakar, became the Dakar champion for the 14th time, creating Dakar history. The BAIC ORV teams performed outstandingly well for their first-time Dakar Rally participation. The consistent performance by the modified BAIC B40 PLUS racing cars numbered #352, #361 and #343 driven by Team Lu Binglong/Ma Wenke, Team Zhang Guoyu/Sha He and Team Liu Yangui/Pan Hongyu ranked from 13 to 15 respectively on the overall ranking. The three teams have managed to claim all top three positions on the Dakar Newcomer Awards podium.
The ability of the BAIC ORV team to complete the Dakar Rally and perform well is the benefit from abundant experience, which was accumulated from the progress in many top racing events in China and showcases the achievements of BAIC’s continuous investment on the off-road vehicles. Attending the Dakar Rally laid the foundation for BAIC ORV challenging themselves to step into world-class racing events while the addition of the three Newcomer Awards under their belt also reinforces the fact that the decision was a sound one. The 2021 Dakar was not the typical rally that racers were accustomed to. The pandemic is still very present globally and most big events had to be stopped. The initial news was that the event was meant to be cancelled this year, but due to the organiser insistence and host country’s investment, the event continued, and it is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
The BAIC SA plant is not just the biggest auto manufacturing facility in scale invested by a Chinese enterprise in South Africa and in the entire African continent, it is also a typical example of the successful combination of the need for industrial development and investment in South Africa and the manufacturing capacity and internationalisation from China. It will also remarkably enhance the upgrading of industrialisation in South Africa. The BAIC Group will devote its resources in capital, technology and management to promoting machinery manufacturing
capability in South Africa. The BAIC SA plant will upgrade the field of manufacturing technology, from the traditional manufacturing techniques by increasing automatic technique rate and quality and decreasing waste gas emissions.
The local employment rate in the company will be as high as 90-95% once they commence normal production operation. Meanwhile, the BAIC Group continues to transfer its experience in terms of skills, technology and management to South Africa via their experienced managers in BAIC SA, to help cultivate and develop local management and personnel, ultimately contributing to South African employment, training and management skills improvement. BAIC SA believes all these factors will dramatically enhance the industrial modernisation process in South Africa and bring more competitive and relevant products to the local consumer.