The half-tonne bakkie segment in South Africa has slowly become a very small one. In fact, by the end of 2017 it’s likely to contain just a single option (unless, of course, we see an injection of some much-needed new blood). Yes, with General Motors withdrawing from the South African market, the locally built Chevrolet Utility is set to exit the scene at the end of the year, leaving the Nissan NP200 as the only choice in this category.
Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen other half-tonne bakkies face the axe locally for various reasons. Below are five examples that are no longer available in our market today…
Volkswagen Caddy (RIP: 2007)
Based on the Mk1 Golf, the Caddy was produced in South Africa for a good few decades until it ended its run in 2007, shortly before the Citi Golf went out of production. Volkswagen SA didn’t ever release a successor for its one-tonner, although we’re sure the Saveiro (as sold in South America) would sell up a storm in South Africa were it available in right-hand-drive…
Proton Arena (RIP: 2011)
This Malaysian brand withdrew entirely from the SA market in 2015, but Arena left us a little while before that. The Arena was powered by a naturally aspirated 1,5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 64 kW and 126 N.m of torque, and was available in three different trim levels.
Ford Bantam (RIP: 2011)
The Bantam has a long history here in South Africa as we were the only country to have access to it. Towards the end, the Bantam had a relatively extensive engine range, including a turbodiesel option, along with a variety of trims.
Fiat Strada (RIP: 2012)
Using the underpinnings of the Palio, the Strada was the third last contender in this segment. The flagship X-Space Adventure model was aimed squarely at young adventurous people and included side-steps, an MP3 CD player, front foglamps and a driver’s airbag.
Chevrolet Utility (RIP: 2017)
Yes, you can still buy one of these (until the brand leaves at the end of 2017), but the SA-built one-tonner is soon to be no more. Known as the Montana in some South American markets, the Utility is available locally in two petrol engine outputs and a variety of trim levels.
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