Johannesburg, South Africa
BAIC South Africa has officially announced the launch of their iconic SUV, the B40 PLUS today. The OEM, headquartered in Linbro Park, Johannesburg also boasts a local assembly plant in Coega, Eastern Cape which is set to create much-needed employment opportunities for the Port Elizabeth community. In addition, the facility, with a footprint of 10,000 hectares aims to produce 40,000-50,000 vehicles for local sale and export by the end of 2022. Mr Hu, Vice President of Marketing Operations for BAIC South Africa said “BAIC SA is proud to add the B40 PLUS to the model line-up.
We believe this vehicle will be well received by the market and will find quite a following amongst consumers that want to stand out in a crowd. ”Speaking of the company and its commitment to the country, Mr Hu added, “We are committed to the people of South Africa. We are actively working to improve the standard of the local automotive manufacturing industry, whilst creating more local employment opportunities. Our goal is to provide South Africans with a wide range of quality products to suit various lifestyles and requirements.”
The B40 PLUS which has its roots in the military, has over 60 years of heritage to draw on. It has been tested in almost every condition, altitude, terrain, and application over this time leading to the claim that it was born in the battlefield and perfected in the real world.
The design of the B40 PLUS is bold and imposing. The styling echoes the confidence of the driver, with aggressive bumpers and wheel arches. The vehicle commands presence whether it’s on city streets or showcasing its prowess off-road. The front of the B40 PLUS is striking, with the iconic 5-slot grille design that is inspired by the Great Wall of China. The chrome and black accents on the exterior contrast the vehicle’s body colour, adding visual interest. This is also echoed in the interior of the B40 PLUS.
The bold design features imposing headlights with Daytime Running Lights (DRL) as well as front and rear fog lamps. The vertical windshield design, large exterior mirrors and high seating position make for great all-round visibility. The red tow hooks are a confident design characteristic on the B40 PLUS, while making it easy to pull, tow or rescue travel companions in other vehicles. NVH dampening is provided by the Liquid Application Sound Deadening (LASD) technology which increases the application area of the sound-dampening material in a vehicle by 50%, is environmentally friendly and allows for weight reduction in the vehicle while resulting in increased noise reduction.
It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling city streets or exploring the hidden paths, you get to do it in comfort and style in the B40 PLUS. The considered cabin is modern, sleek and contains all the appointments you would need in an SUV from Dual Zone Air Conditioner, 6-speaker audio system, colour-coded interior trim, chrome accents and to top it all off, reclining rear seats. There are also features like the reverse camera, Park Distance Control (PDC), and customizable Multi-Information Display (MID), to keep the driver in complete control of his landscape.
Mr Basil Costa, Senior Manager for Sales and Marketing, said “The B40 PLUS is more than capable off-road. The testing on extreme environmental adaptability included a process called “5 high & 1 drought” which included high temperature, high altitude, high humidity, high cold, high salt content and of course, a drought. This stringent testing process ensures adaptability to extreme conditions that is 10% higher than regular passenger vehicles. ”The off-road ability did not just inspire the design, the B40 PLUS was designed with practicality, and functionality, at the forefront of consideration.
The front suspension is a double wishbone/coil spring independent suspension while the rear suspension is a 5-link/coil spring non-independent suspension. The overhangs are minimal and combined with a ground clearance of 210mm, it results in a generous approach angle of 37 degrees, departure angle of 31 degrees and rampover angle of 23 degrees.The selectable 4WD system with mechanical central transfer case and rear differential lock allows driver control over how the engine is powered, dependent on the terrain, conditions and requirements.
The B40 PLUS comes standard with a host of active and passive safety features to ensure your adventure is on your terms. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) are standard across all models, while some models also feature Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Ascent Control (HAC) and Hill Descent Control (HAC).The B40 PLUS also has a built-in cage anti-roll body structure and anti-roll bar framework composed of a high strength steel plate and pipe beam, doubling protection and able to maintain integrity in a 50-metre hillside roll, ensuring the safety of driver and passengers alike.
The B40 PLUS is available in 2.0 litre Petrol Turbo or 2.0 litre Turbo Diesel. The choice is yours on how you power your adventure. The petrol engine kicks out 160kW @ 5500 r/min while the diesel pushes out 110kW @ 4000 r/min and 350Nm of torque at 1800-2800 r/min.
The B40 PLUS is priced quite competitively, offering generous features in all models in the line-up. The range starts from R549,500 and goes up to R629,500 for the top-of-the-range offering. Mr Basil Costa added “I look forward to seeing the B40 PLUS taking over South African roads soon. We believe the market will be pleasantly surprised at just how much vehicle they are getting with the B40 PLUS.”
All B40 PLUS models are sold with a 5-year/120,000km warranty. Competitive service plan options are available. Service intervals are 15,000km/12 months for both the Petrol and Diesel models.”
After 59 years of unremitting development, BAIC Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC Group) has become one of the five largest automotive groups in China. With its headquarters located in Beijing and at the Turin Styling Centre in Italy and production bases all over China, BAIC Group currently has around 130,000 employees. It is one of the automotive groups in China with the most comprehensive portfolio of products, covering the full range from passenger to commercial vehicles. In 2018, BAIC Group achieved the promising results 2,402,000 sold units, making BAIC Group No. 5 in China’s automotive sector in terms of income and profit, and No.3 in terms of brand value. Today, BAIC Group 124th in the Fortune Global 500 and has been on the Fortune 500 list for the past 9 years.
BAIC International Development Co., Ltd. (BAIC INTL) is a wholly-funded subsidiary of the BAIC Group. BAIC INTL is expanding its cross-border businesses with the aim of building “Global BAIC”. This visionary project will give birth to networks in the main regions of the world: the Middle East, West Asia, Central Asia, Africa, South America and several other regions. It will thus enable the BAIC Group to reach its strategic objectives and achieve internationalisation in terms of talents, markets, products, brand recognition and management. In order to solidify its global presence, BAIC INTL focuses on five main activities: export of finished vehicles and individual components; import of technologies; equipment and finished vehicles; product improvements; overseas investment; international cooperation.
BAIC INTL’s core business is the development of reliable commercial, passenger, electronic and other types of vehicles. The implementation of BAIC INTL’s strategy is based on two main focal points:
BAIC INTL is committed to becoming a trendsetter, not only in terms of automobile design, but also by delivering a dynamic, stylish and tasteful lifestyle. BAIC INTL aims to offer vehicles equipped with user-friendly features that meet the standards of the international automotive market and fulfill customer expectations globally. Under the motto “Faster, Leaner, Smarter,” BAIC INTL will use the powerful combination of its innovative spirit and its strong research and development capabilities in order to achieve the top position in technology advancement, out-of-the-box business development and global resources integration.
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 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.