Foton has now launched a range of Tunland bakkies into the South African market in the form of a six-mix of single and double cab variants all powered by 2,0-litre turbo-diesel engines. Two versions having a six-speed manual transmission and rest driving through an 8-speed automatic shifter.

The vehicles will be sold through the Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) network but there will also be a partnership with the local operated of BAIC, facilitated by Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Co Ltd (BAIC).

The intention here is for Foton to start assembly operations at the BAIC plant in Coega, Eastern Cape from 2026.

Foton G7 Tunland double cab bakkie side view

CHANGECARS has a huge selection of pristine pre-owned bakkies all from 5-star dealers

The Tunland had a previous history in South Africa, having been launched 2008 but soon exiting after having made a fairly nominal impact on local bakkie buyers.

The vehicles launched were first unveiled as the Foton Tunland Yutu in 2019 and, according to Marius Small, CEO of Foton South Africa, the G7 range as it is now known has a ‘future-proof’ design and, based on media images, having not seen the actual vehicles, CHANGECARS would tend toward calling the styling bland.

The G7 Tunland starts at R319 900 for the single-cab workhorse variant and R399 900 for the double-cab version, positioning it against base models of the JAC T6, GWM Steed 5 and Mahindra Pik Up, while the range-topper G7 Double Cab Automatic 4×4 LTD Super Luxury is R599 900.

Foton G7 Tunland double cab bakkie grille

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This includes a 5-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, 5-year roadside assistance and a 3-year/50 000 km service plan on all models.

The single cab has a 12,3-inch infotainment screen, a digital instrument cluster, power windows, automatic air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes with EBD and rear parking sensors.

In the Tunland G7 double-cab portfolio, the TL grade adds 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, an electronic parking brake, additional speakers, electronic stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring.

The Foton Tunland G7 TLX specification includes running boards, dual-zone air-conditioning, automatic headlamps, keyless entry, heated front seats, cloth-and-leatherette upholstery, and additional crash bags. The automatic TLX also features a mechanical differential lock.

the interview of the Foton G7 Tunland double cab bakkieThe flagship Limited model, includes 18-inch alloy wheels, extra chrome trim, a sunroof, front collision warning, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree camera system and wireless smartphone charging.

The South African bakkie market is a highly competitive and extremely crowded space and, even though the Chinese are able to produce with a price advantage over the more ‘traditional’ players, breaking into this market is a formidable task.

While the Foton warranty package is on par with other players, little has been said about the service backup and parts plans for the brand or how quickly parts replacement (including crash parts) will be effected.

Foton will almost certainly not be the last Chinese brand in this market and potential buyers should not be blinded by the low pricing and possibly check what kind of foothold the marque establishes for itself.

Foton Tunland G7 Pricing:

  • G7 Single Cab Manual 4×2 Workhorse – R319,900
  • G7 Double Cab Manual 4×2 TL Luxury – R399,900
  • G7 Double Cab Automatic 4×2 TL Luxury – R469,900
  • G7 Double Cab Automatic 4×2 TLX Super Luxury – R499,900
  • G7 Double Cab Automatic 4×4 TLX Luxury – R559,900
  • G7 Double Cab Automatic 4×4 LTD Super Luxury – R599,900