Chinese brand JMC has launched the latest versions of two of its most popular sellers in South Africa – the fifth generation Vigus double-cab bakkie and the Carrying Plus, a four-tonne truck. The company has also revealed plans to put on sale here a seven-seat mini-van from next year, which will wear a Changan badge.
Speaking at the launch of the Vigus and Carrying Plus at an event in Midrand, JMC spokesman James Chen said the brand was looking to capitalise on the ten years’ worth of experience it had gained in the local market.
“JMC is in South Africa to stay,” he said. “We’ve learnt a lot from our first decade here – in all, we’re beginning to feel like a truly South African company.”
Local expertise was used to develop aspects of the Ford-powered Vigus and Isuzu-based Carrying Plus. “We anticipate that the latest versions of the models will build on the solid foundations of their predecessors,” Chen said.
The ladder-framed Vigus – which, in 2014, replaced the Boarding in JMC’s bakkie line-up – has proved popular in both lifestyle and commercial sectors. It is powered by a 2.4-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 103 kW and 310 Nm. Transmission is through a five-speed, manual-shift, Getrag gearbox.
Styling upgrades include a re-designed front end and increased ground clearance for the 4×2 version which, at 220 mm, now matches that of the transfer-case equipped, 4×4 model. The derivatives are priced at R308 000 and R365 000 respectively.
The latest Carrying Plus – which is said to boast improved aerodynamics – is offered in drop-side, tipper and box-van configurations. Two wheelbase options (2 800 mm and 3 360 mm) and two cabin widths (1 880 mm and 2 050 mm) are available. All derivatives feature a dual-tyre rear axle.
According to Chen, to ensure durability the vehicle underwent a vigorous test schedule that exceeded two-million kilometres. “Mechanical downtime is the thief of productivity in the commercial vehicle market and, with this in mind, the engineers at JMC worked closely with top automotive suppliers to ensure the Carrying Plus proves rugged and reliable,” he said.
The Carrying Plus is priced from R286 990.