BAIC South Africa announced today its 120-unit fleet deal with Samaritan Car Cover. This record deal is quite a milestone for the automotive company, that was launched in 2016 with the IDC as a Joint Venture Partner and is one of the largest investments in the Automotive Industry in South Africa.
A portion of the vehicle deliveries have already taken place, with the remaining vehicles being delivered in the next two months. The range of vehicles consists primarily of D20 Hatch, but will possibly include the rest of the BAIC range in the future. The partnership with Samaritan Car Cover offers an opportunity to increase awareness for the brand and for a larger portion of the market to gain exposure to the BAIC range of vehicles, through their rent-to-own programmes.
The vehicles will be used for the Samaritan rent-to-own programme which is aimed at Uber drivers. 60% of Uber drivers are unable to qualify for finance via financial service providers. In an effort to support the South African economy and the entrepreneurial spirit of these owner/drivers, Samaritan’s Just Drive programme offers a brand-new vehicle for an affordable charge of R2249 per week with no hidden terms and conditions. The offer includes unlimited kilometres, insurance, vehicle maintenance, tyres, licensing and one car wash per month. The service is available in Gauteng currently and will expand to Durban and Cape Town in the future.
“We are proud to expand our offering to the Uber community with this partnership. These entrepreneurs are keen to make a difference in the economy, we want to enable them to do this with as few hurdles as possible.” says Lennie de Villiers, Chief Executive Officer for Samaritan Car Cover.
This is just the beginning of BAIC’s focus on expanding their market share through alternative channels and consumer offerings. 2020 was a tough year for most industries, with the automotive industry not being spared either. With the economy taking a knock, consumers have been downsizing their vehicles and seeking alternatives to traditional vehicle ownership models. This is the key rationale for this partnership. Customers are more open to new brands and willing to consider alternatives in the market. This will be a key factor in creating momentum for the brand in South Africa and expanding their footprint in the South African market.
The BAIC vehicle line-up is based on what the South African market wants and needs. The range of BAIC vehicles offers style, features and safety in a value-for-money product.
After five years in the country, they boast a local manufacturing and assembly plant in Coega, Port Elizabeth and a network of sixteen dealerships and service centres nationwide. Two of their key models, the D20 Hatchback and Sedan, and the X25 SUV have directly created 1000 jobs and indirectly created 5000 jobs in South Africa. BAIC SA is set to dramatically advance the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay through this investment, as well as offering BAIC Group a strategic geographic manufacturing and export base to realise their global strategy.
The BAIC South Africa plant project was officially launched in December 2015. The factory construction kicked off in August 2016. The first production units of SKD (Semi Knocked Down) vehicles came off the assembly plant floor in July 2018.
BAIC reiterates their plan to become a household name in South Africa and a bigger part of the economy from an employment and skills development perspective. BAIC vehicles are set to become a popular sight on our streets, giving much needed independence and mobility to an up-and-coming market.
“We consider South Africa our second home and we have a strong loyalty to our customers locally. Our range of offerings, vehicles and ownership options take our customers’ needs into consideration. We look forward to more programmes and partnerships that will enable us to better serve our customers, ” says Buhle Hanise, Chief Financial Officer for BAIC South Africa.
BAIC SA believes all these factors will dramatically enhance the company’s presence in South Africa and bring more competitive and relevant products to the local consumer. The South African market can look forward to the launch of the iconic B40 PLUS SUV later this year with demo vehicles being available for customer test-drives from September 2021 and pricing and the official launch taking place in October. The B40 PLUS has already had some exposure in South Africa and customer interest and anticipation for this unique vehicle is already gaining momentum. BAIC SA is clearly serious about this market and set to add some excitement to South African roads with the new vehicle introductions in the near future.