LIGHT COMERCIAL

H100 Bakkie rolls off local assembly line in Hyundai factory

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The Commercial Vehicles Division of Hyundai Automotive South Africa has begun production of the popular H100 Bakkie from its assembly plant in Benoni on the East Rand - little more than 6 months after the factory was opened in September 2014 for the initial production of the HD truck range.

H100 Bakkies assembled from components imported from South Korea are now produced daily for the commercial market in South Africa - creating value for Hyundai Automotive SA's customers and increasing jobs for local factory workers.

"The establishment of the H100 production line forms part of a capital investment of about R110 million in the Commercial Vehicles Division of Hyundai in South Africa. There are financial rewards for us, but one of the important benefits of this extension of our SKD production is job creation and the testimony that it bears of Hyundai's commitment to the local automotive market," says Wade Griffin, director for commercial vehicles at Hyundai Automotive SA.

One of the reasons why the 1,3 ton H100 - or the 'Bakkie', as it is known in South Africa - was considered for local assembly is because it is one of the most successful vehicles in the local model range of Hyundai Automotive South Africa. The H100 has operated worldwide under some of the toughest working conditions, and has elevated the Hyundai workhorse to a position amongst the toughest light commercial vehicles available today - and rightfully so.

"Close to 60 000 of the H100 Bakkies have been sold since Hyundai Automotive SA started operating in the year 2000, and it has become a workhorse for many smaller as well as large, established businesses and organizations in South Africa. It is also the perfect all-round vehicle for a small family business, with a proven track record of reliability."

Griffin says no one should have any qualms about the quality and durability of locally produced Bakkies: A full-time quality control engineer does duty at the assembly plant, and Hyundai Motor Company has sent a team of five engineers to South Africa in February to oversee quality control procedures and to train and upskill the local workforce at the factory.

Assembly of the second batch of 60 H100 units has already started on the production line in the Apex, Benoni, factory with the aim of rolling out 360 Bakkies per month when full production is reached at about September this year.

Components of the H100, such as the engine, cabin, seats, tyres and different suspension elements of the ladder-frame chassis of the Bakkie, arrive in South Africa in containers - packed economically and reducing the freight costs associated with the importation of a fully built-up unit.

"This second phase of SKD assembly at the Apex plant has increased the number of employees on the site to a total of 51, with further potential growth of the factory's workforce. If one considers the indirect effect at an average ratio of 7 to 1 that the employment of a single worker has on those that he or she supports, then the establishment of the assembly has already touched the lives of about 370 people," says Griffin.

As is the case with the HD trucks being produced in the assembly plant since last year, several applications and permutations is possible due to customised fitment of different load boxes and canopies on the H100's sturdy frame.

One of the popular solutions is the Hyundai H100 canopies, manufactured by Beekman, an Imperial subsidiary, that are designed to keep cargo protected from the elements as they are weather, fade and water resistant. The high-quality canopy also features a lockable rear door that keeps your cargo safe from theft and intruders. The canopy comes in three separate styles - the half door, full door or nose cone/space saver - there is one for your business, no matter what the requirements.

A versatile light truck

The H100 has earned its reputation of being a tough and versatile light truck, enough to match almost every challenge. It is a also compact enough to cope with limited spaces, but with a payload capability usually confined to much larger vehicles.  

Chassis and engine

The H100 runs on a tough 100 x 50 mm steel section ladder-frame chassis with a double wishbone and torsion bar front suspension, and leaf springs for extra load bearing at the rear.

A 2.6 litre naturally aspirated diesel engine is used as power plant for the H100's rear-wheel drive setup. The 4-cylinder 2.6D Euro II engine delivers its maximum power of 58 kW at 4 000 r/min. and maximum torque of 167 Nm at 2 200 r/min. through a five-speed gearbox to the rear wheels.

Side impact bars, single moulded body panels and a variable cross-section cowl cross member are significant safety features in the sturdy H100.

Cargo space

One would not easily find a more compact cargo carrier than the H100, with its load space designed for work with a lower deck height of just 775 mm and an unobstructed load area. This makes fast and efficient work of loading and unloading cargo weights of up to 1 000 kg. Latching side walls and a bolting tailgate add extra security and cargo protection.

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