China’s JAC plans Australian growth, pickups are just the beginning

As reported last week, another Chinese brand is gearing up to hit the Australian market in 2023, with double cabs on the start menu – both diesel and (shortly thereafter) electric.

The company is called JAC Motors (full name Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co., Ltd) and is state-owned based in Hefei and traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Little known here, the company sold more than 500,000 vehicles last year and claims to have exported more than 700,000 cars to 130 countries and regions during its history.

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delivered Recognition: car expert
delivered Recognition: car expert

In addition to manufacturing electric vehicles, cars, commercial vehicles, vans, trucks and buses, the company is also a Tier 1 supplier of chassis, powertrains and axles. In addition, the company claims that among its 5,000-strong R&D team is a subgroup dedicated to vehicles for western markets.

JAC also operates a Chinese joint venture with Volkswagen and has a contract to produce premium electric vehicles for fast-growing startup Nio through another joint venture announced in May 2021.

When it lauds in Australia from mid-2023, JAC will join other Chinese automakers making significant strides here, including SAIC Motor (parent of MG and LDV), Great Wall Motor (parent of GWM Ute and the Haval, Tank and Ora brands). ). , BYD and the soon-to-be-returned Chery.

delivered Recognition: car expert

Like BYD and LDV, JAC Motor has chosen to use a third-party dealership in Australia, which is responsible for importing and marketing the cars and registering the dealer network. This is in contrast to MG, GWM and Chery which have factory offices here.

JAC Motor’s importer is BLK Auto – offices in NSW and Queensland – managed by Managing Director Jason Pecotic.

Mr Pecotic was formerly Marketing Director for SAIC Motor Australia (helping to build the reborn MG) and CEO of former LDV importer WMC Group, later replaced by Ateco.

delivered Recognition: car expert
delivered Recognition: car expert

In other words, Mr. Pecotic has 15 years of experience importing Chinese cars, particularly focusing on building their operations.

Speaking to CarExpert this week, Mr Pecotic said he’s been in contact with more than 50 dealership operators to sign them on as franchisees to sell the incoming range of diesel and electric Utes and trucks – and more.

He said JAC Motors sees Australia as a “peak market” with a strong offering. This suggests a similar approach to SAIC and GWM, both of which used Australia as a pilot expansion country and subsequently made it into the top 10 brands list in no time.

JAC ES4 Recognition: car expert
JAC JS4 Recognition: car expert

The go-to-market plan at this point will start with the double-cab diesel JAC T9, with the EV version due out in 2024. Unlike the LDV eT60, JAC’s diesel pickup is said to sit on a special EV architecture built from the ground up .

Mr Pecotic said there will be more vehicles, which is where that came from, with the next taxi being an SUV model due around the same time as the electric T9 ute.

There’s no shortage of options as the JAC Motors website shows different models like the small SUVs JAC JS4 and ES4 which appear to be petrol and electric rivals to the MG ZS.

JAC JS6 Recognition: car expert
JAC JS6 Recognition: car expert

Another entrant is the mid-size SUV JAC JS6, a relatively new 4.6-meter-long mid-size SUV with a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine with 135 kW and 300 Nm and a dual-screen setup with a diameter of 24.6 inches inside .

What we already knew about BLK and the JAC T9

Mr. Pecotic said the JAC T9 would be priced similarly to Chinese-made pickups like the GWM Ute and LDV T60, which retail for less than $45,000.

The T9 is 5330mm long, 1965mm wide and 1920mm high with a wheelbase of 3110mm.

The 2.0-litre turbo diesel version will produce 125kW and 410Nm and will have a braked towing capacity of 3500kg, while an eight-speed automatic transmission is mated to a part-time 4×4 system.

delivered Recognition: car expert
delivered Recognition: car expert

Interior amenities include heated, power seats, air conditioning, a 10.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging unit, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera view.

Mr. Pecotic added JAC is targeting a five-star ANCAP safety rating for the T9, with features such as seven airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, lane departure warnings and lane departure warning, blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alerts and autonomous emergency braking.

“By the end of 2023, we will import three models of JAC electric trucks, and the two JAC pickup models will significantly expand the product range and help us expand our dealer network by offering our dealers more products for sale,” said Mr. Pecotic .

delivered Recognition: car expert
JAC T9 Recognition: car expert China’s JAC plans Australian growth, pickups are just the beginning

James Brien

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