New data from Lightstone shows the rise in popularity of the double cab bakkie in South Africa over the past several years .
The Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux topped the best-sellers list in 2017, combining for more nearly 70,000 units.
“The choice between a single or double cab is based solely on the potential owner’s need and the purpose for the vehicle, including both single and double cabs.
“Where double cab vehicles are family orientated because of the additional passenger space, a single cab’s aim is primarily for utility aimed at individuals who require more loading space; be it for a hobby or work purposes,” Lightstone said.
It noted that 30,644 one-ton double cab utilities were sold through dealer networks in 2012 as opposed to 48,104 one-ton single cabs in the same year.
However, five years later in 2017, analysis of the first 10 months indicated that more than 39,000 double cabs were bought in comparison to 37,000 single cabs. This significant change in buyer behaviour came about in 2016 when, for the first time ever in the one-ton market, double cabs outsold single cabs, Lightstone said.
According to Hein Coetzee at Lightstone Auto, this change in the market is attributed to the fact that manufacturers are offering double cabs with improved levels of driveability, luxury and comfort. “With all the latest attributes double cabs are becoming a realistic alternative to the previously modern Sports Utility Vehicle,” Coetzee said.
A vehicle that has become the benchmark in the double cab segment is the Ford Ranger, the think tank said. This vehicle began the process of changing the way consumers looked at double cabs when it was originally released in 2011.
The new and improved Ranger was launched during the latter of 2015, along with the new Toyota Hilux, Isuzu KB and the VW Amarok, which were all launched within a nine month window. The introduction of updated vehicles, particularly from the leading vehicle brands, usually generates a fair amount of interest, Lightstone said.
The hype, allied to the SUV-like qualities the manufacturers introduced with these new double cab ranges, quickly catapulted the body shape passed the single cab.
The spike in sales during 2016 can be attributed, not only to the launch of the upgraded version of the Ranger, but also to an amalgamation of all the new and improved double cab offerings on the market, Lightstone said.
However, the sales of the Ranger during this period is an indication of the dominance of the model in this segment. One of the most significant findings by Lightstone is that since the beginning of January 2015, 41% of all double cabs sold in Southern Africa have been Ford Rangers.