Peugeot’s Landtrek bakkie will be here this year. But how will it fare in this tough market?
So Peugeot is entering the South African bakkie market. A brave move, some would say.
Especially considering Mercedes-Benz’ recent failure, never mind the struggles others like Fiat have had in that super competitive neck of the woods. Or even the challenges established players like Nissan and Mitsubishi face competing against the major players in SA’s most competitive new vehicle market segment.
STILL THEY KEEP COMING
But it’s lucrative if you get it right. So they just keep on coming.
The new one-ton Pug bakkie is called Landtrek and it has it is coming to South Africa later this year. While there were once rumours of a Hilux co-lab, the Peugeot bakkie is built in partnership with Chinese manufacturer, Changan. Its small workhorse bakkies are no strangers to the local market, but Landtrek is built on an all-new platform it shares with the Changan Kaicheng F70.
It’s coming to SA with designs on both the workhorse and lifestyle markets in single and double-cab. Packing up to a 1.2 ton payload and a competitive 3.5-ton towing capacity, Landtek will come in both 4×2 or 4×4 get-up. And the option of petrol or diesel power too. Choose between a 157 kW 320 Nm 2.4-litre turbo petrol and a 112 kW and 350 Nm 1.9-litre turbodiesel.
LANDTREK HAS A UNIQUE TURBO PETROL
The powerful petrol lump is unique and most interesting in this market. More powerful than rival turbodiesels, it’s also less torquey as it goes down its own path. It’s mated to either a 6-speed Getrag manual or 6-speed auto. The diesel only comes with the manual ‘box. An eLocker rear differential lock disengages automatically. 4×4 versions get a low ratio transfer box, 235 mm ground clearance and 600 mm wading depth.
Well stacked, as they say, the Landtrek brings Peugeot’s famous style to the bakkie world including the 3008’s multifunction steering wheel and a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen nicked from the 508. That packs in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a 10GB hard drive and adds the likes of a neat 360-degree 4 camera system.
Top end models will also get the sort of thing bakkie owners have become used to over time. From dual-zone climate control to six airbags, electronic stability, hill descent and trailer swing controls, and a lane departure warning. Landtrek brings back the option of a good old 3-person bench seat up front to make it a six-person cabin. The rear bench has a 60:40-split folding backrest and thre’s 27-litres of cabin storage space in the double-cab.
BUT WILL LANDTREK CUT THE MUSTARD IN SA?
Now all that sounds just the business. But! How easy a task will it be for Peugeot to steal sales from Hilux, Ranger, D-Max and now Navara too? In a market where bakkie buyers are undeniably patriotic to made in SA products, with a China-built pick-up…
Judging by the most recent attempts, it has a tough task. Especially considering that none of those struggling bakkies had the additional hurdle of Chines origins to overcome…