Firstly, who is BAIC and what are they about.
The BAIC Group (Beijing Automotive International Corporation) is one of the five largest automotive groups in China. Its headquarters are in Beijing with its Turin Styling Centre in Italy. They have been around for 59 years and they produce automobiles at various locations in China and currently employ more than 130 000 employees. In 2018 the company sold 2,402,000 vehicles from both passenger and commercial sales. Today BAIC Group ranks number 124th in the Future Global 500 and has been on the Fortune 500 list for the past nine years.
Secondly what is the connection with South Africa.
BAIC is a Chinese State-owned company who have committed to invest R11 billion in South Africa. The SA Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has a 35% shareholding in the project and construction of a vehicle plant in Coega is underway. The facility with a footprint of 10 000 hectares aims to produce 40 000 to 50 000 vehicles a year for both local sales and exports.
BIAC officially announced the launch of their iconic SUV the B40 PLUS a vehicle which has its roots in the military built to cope with almost every condition, altitude, terrain and application. The design has a “Jeep” look with aggressive bumpers, wheel arches and the iconic 5-slot grille. The chrome and black accents on the exterior contrast the vehicle’s body colour adding visual interest along with the daytime running lights and front and rear fog lamps. Vertical windshield, large exterior mirrors and high seating position contribute to the look of the B40 PLUS.
The cabin is modern, sleek and contains many features such as Dual Zone Air Conditioner, 6-speaker audio system, colour-coded interior trim, chrome accents and reclining rear seats. Along with the red tow hooks the vehicle has reverse camera, Park Distance Control, Multi-Information Display keeping the driver in complete control of his landscape.
The new BIAC B40 Plus is very capable off-road and has been tested including high temperatures, high altitude, high humidity, high cold, high salt, and even drought. 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 ramp over 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 depending on terrain conditions and requirements.
The B40 Plus is available in 2.0 litre Petrol Turbo or 2.0 litre Turbo Diesel. The petrol delivers 160kW @ 5 500 rpm while the diesel pushes 110kW @ 4 000 rpm and 350Nm of torque at 1 800-2 800 rmp.
Safety features include Anti-Lock Braking, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Electronic Parking Brake as standard. Some models have Electronic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Traction Control, Hill Assist and Hill Descent Control. A built-in cage anti-roll body structure and anti-roll bar framework composed of a high strength steel and pipe beam provide double protection and is able to maintain integrity in a 50-metre hillside roll ensuring safety for occupants.
Seven colours are offered to buyers, Ice White, Onyx Black, Desert Red, Military Green, Forest Green, Sky Blue, and Ocean Blue. The price range will retail from R549 500 with the top of variant at R629 500. All models are sold with a 5-year/120 000km warranty. Competitive service plan options are available and service intervals are 15 000km/12 months for both petrol and diesel.
B40 PLUS Diesel
B40 PLUS Petrol
B40 Plus City Hunter Diesel
B40 PLUS City Hunter Petrol
B40 PLUS Champion Petrol