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BAW SA expects monthly sale of at least 200 minibuses in S. Africa


JOHANNESBURG, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Automotive Works South Africa (BAW SA) expects a monthly sale of 200 to 250 minibuses in Africa's biggest economy, months after its local production.

"Beijing Automotive Works South Africa (BAW SA) has introduced its Sasuka 16-seater minibus into the local taxi market," South Africa's influential Business Day newspaper reported on Friday.

About 51 percent shares in BAW SA is held by its parent company Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company in China, while the balance is shared by the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and the company China African Motors.

"The Sasuka (meaning "we are departing" in the local Zulu language) would be priced 15 percent below its main competitors at a recommended retail price of over 275,000 rands (about 27,000 U.S. dollars)," BAW SA spokesperson John Jessup told the newspaper.

"The consumers will be offered with a service of two years and 200,000 km, including the maintenance of the entire braking system, " Jessup said.

In January, BAW SA started its local production of the Sasuka at its 200 million rands semi-knockdown plant on the East Rand in Johannesburg.

"The initial auto demand was excellent," the spokesperson said. "The plant is scaling up towards 10 units a day, amounting to between 200 and 250 per month."

"This is the level of orders our dealers are indicating, but it' s early days, and we need to feel our way into the market," the spokesperson said.

Jessup stressed that the plant has all the necessary homologation certificates from the South African Bureau of Standards for its auto production and sale.

The BAW SA plant is scheduled to transit to a completely knocked-down factory by 2015 at a cost of 2 billion rands to 3 billion rands. "It will finally have a capacity of 50,000 units a year," the spokesperson said.


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