The Bakkie

The bakkie is a much-loved vehicle in South Africa, one that most Americans have never seen, and never will see. I saw one just by chance here in the States years ago, when the somewhat-eccentric South African national that lived three doors down from me had an older model imported into the U.S. for his driving pleasure. Basically, a bakkie is a double cab pickup, but this generic description covers everything from urban cargo haulers to rough and tough wilderness machines.

I thought of bakkies last week when I noticed in the Ford Motor Company press release that the new Ford Ranger will also be sold in South Africa in the bakkie configuration.

The South African vehicle market is pretty much wide-open; government safety requirements are not to the same high standards as the North American or European markets, much of the population is lower and middle-income, and therefore there are cheap vehicles from China, India and everywhere else sold there, as well as some of the brands sold here. It is fascinating from a car buff perspective to take a trip there.

Here are some of the bakkie trucks you might see in South Africa:

The Bakkie - Seatco does the best convertible top work

2017 Ford Ranger

The Bakkie - Seatco is well known for their great work on convertible tops

2017 Volkswagen Transporter 2.0TDI double cab

The Bakkie - Seatco is the best shop for convertible tops

2017 Mahindra-Pik-Up

The Bakkie - Go to Seatco for convertible tops

2017 Isuzu-KB Double Cab

There are many more variants, including Nissan, Toyota, Mazda offerings, and more Chinese-made vehicles.

You may notice the VW Transporter flat bed pickup; this vehicle is quite common in much of the world, but we don’t see it here in the States.

If you keep abreast of auto-related news, you may recognize the Mahindra name. The Indian company just announced plans to gradually expand in the U.S., and invested a considerable amount of capital in a facility in the Detroit Area. Pictured is the very tough little pickup they sell elsewhere in the world.

We hope you enjoyed this quick look at a vehicle segment in another market that is very different from the one you know here.


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