A new car maker is coming to South Africa

 ·3 Feb 2024

GAC Motor, a Chinese state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group subsidiary, has signed a strategic partnership with Salvador Caetano to begin distributing its cars in South Africa, reported TopAuto.

Chinese car brands are expanding in South Africa, with 11 new models expected to be released in 2024, and this is to add to the notable number of models already selling on the South African market.

In recent years, several new Asian automakers have emerged in the automobile industry. One such example is BYD (Build Your Dreams), a new-energy-vehicle company competing with Tesla in the race for eco-friendly transportation. So far, BYD seems to be giving Tesla tough competition.

Additionally, as of January 2024, two Chinese carmakers featured on Nammsa’s best-selling car brands in the country – namely Haval (8th) and Chery (9th), which sold 1,463 and 1,425 units, respectively.

The popularity of Chinese cars in South Africa is undeniable, and it’s no surprise GAC Motor wants a piece of the South African market.

Guangzhou Automobile Group is the fifth-largest vehicle manufacturer in China, with 113,000 employees and shares in both Honda and Toyota.

“Dedicated to the automotive industry for years and present on three continents, GAC Motor has accelerated the process of international business.

“This partnership with Salvador Caetano Auto in South Africa is the startup of the cooperation of both parties,” said Wang Shunsheng, Deputy General Manager of GAC Motor.

“Both companies will leverage their respective strengths to bring quality products to South Africa while building a strong dealership network focused on customer satisfaction.”

What you need to know

GAC Motor has a global vehicle portfolio consisting of 12 different models, including sedans, SUVs, and MPVs. However, which of these models will be available in local showrooms has not yet been revealed.

Considering other Asian brands that have entered the market in recent years, it is likely that GAC will initially focus on introducing its SUVs in South Africa.

The SUV lineup includes the GS3, GS4, GS5, GS8, and Emkoo. All of these models have automatic petrol engines and come in different sizes and specifications.


In the Middle East, GAC Motor offers a range of petrol-powered vehicles, including the GS3 and sedan models such as the GA4, GA6, GA8, and Empow.

The entry-level GS3 is priced at AED59,900 (approximately R307,000 at current exchange rates), while the most premium GS3 starts at AED169,900 (R871,000).

The sedan models start at AED59,900 (R307,000) for the entry-level GA4 variant and go up to AED103,513 (R531,000) for the GA8.

All of these models are available with various manual and automatic transmissions.


GAC is an automaker that offers two MPVs named GN6 and GN8 in various global markets. Additionally, they are planning to add a luxurious M8 to their catalogue.

Both GN6 and GN8 utilize petrol engines paired with self-shifting gearboxes, with prices of AED89,900 (R461,000) and AED129,900 (R666,000), respectively.

GAC has also established a new-energy subsidiary named Aion, which produces electric sedans, SUVs, and sports cars.

It is worth noting that the prices mentioned above are not the official domestic pricing of GAC’s vehicles, but they serve as a base for comparison for the South African market.

Read: 6 new Toyotas coming to South Africa – and their expected launch dates

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