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BAW brings luxury to taxi trade

2013-06-03 12:09

TRADITIONAL TAXI? BAW South Africa will introduce a 16-seater taxi called Sasuka - Zulu for "we are departing".

BAW South Africa has announced the introduction of a 16-seat taxi to be assembled locally and badged Sasuka – Zulu for "we are departing”.

It’s known in China as '009 and is a fully equipped, high-end, model with a 110kW, 2.7-litre petrol engine and will cost R275 990.

‘SUPERIOR VALUE’

National sales manager John Jessop explained: "Our three major objectives, starting with this model, are to provide innovation, passenger orientation and value.

“The needs of passengers, drivers and operators have been ignored for too long in the taxi market. We intend to give superior value – the vehicles will cost 15% less than those of our main competitor yet have features and service plans with a market value of an estimated R70 000 included in the price.”

Most, he claimed, were unique and firsts in the taxi segment, and all units would have retractable seat belts and anti-lock brakes.

The sticker price includes a two-year or 100 000km warranty and two-year or 200 000km service plan, which includes maintenance of the braking system. Service intervals are 10 000km and will be undertaken, Jessop says, with a one-hour “express service concept”.

MOBILE SERVICING

“We are close to having 40-50 dealers in South Africa and adjoining territories; most of them part of established franchised dealers and dealer groups, some operating at the very top end of the market.”

Mobile service units were also being considered.

Aircon will be standard, Jessop says, as well as key-fob unlocking, tracking equipment, Bluetooth, alloy rims, wider whitewall tyres, 110mm and high back ,two-tone, UV resistant PVC seating with an eight-degree rear tilt capability – a bonus for long-distance hauls.

He adds that the company is looking at entering the light commercial, sport utility and passenger vehicle markets over the next 12-18 months.

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