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This South African bakkie builder you haven’t heard of is making big moves

Bloemfontein-based bakkie builder Brandt BRV is making big moves to expand its production capacity and get its name out there on the global stage.

It recently upgraded from its original premises into a larger facility which boosted its monthly production capacity to 20 units, and it has established partnerships with companies in Texas, USA, to which it hopes to start shipping its rugged bakkies in the near future.

Additionally, Brandt BRV is actively engaging with national government in an attempt to secure financial support and ramp up its operations to hundreds, even thousands of vehicles a month.

“I always say to my employees that I don’t have a ceiling, so of course I don’t want to do just 20 a month. I would like to get to the hundreds and then to a thousand,” said owner Stian Brandt in an interview on The Money Show.

“It took us a while to get to a point where there are no comebacks – we worked very hard since 2013 to build a vehicle that is ‘South African tough’, and I think we’re at that point now, so we’re ready to scale up.”

Bloemfontein’s bakkie boffin

Founded in 2001 by Antonie Brandt, Brant BRV initially produced a small off-road vehicle known as the DTV Roadrunner, selling 400 examples before its discontinuation in 2012.

In 2013, Atonie roped in his son Stian – who at the time was only 23 – and together they set up Brandt R&D which was focused on developing “bigger, better, and even more radical” off-roaders.

Fast forward another three years and the brand as we know it was officially established.

Today, Brandt BRV – BRV being short for Brandt Radical Vehicles – produces a wide range of bakkies spanning single and extended-cab body styles, workhorses, “sport models”, and even a safari game viewer.

Most of the construction on its vehicles is carried out by hand using tough materials such as 10mm steel for the monocoque chassis and 1.6mm steel for the bodywork.

As a result they do not have crumple zones, which are mandated on mass-produced autos for crash safety, hence, they can “handle a lot more than the competing market,” said the automaker.

The Brandt BRV bakkies feature leading arm suspension at the front and coil springs at the rear for usability in a variety of terrains, in addition to an integrated roll cage in each model for rigidity.

The manufacturer also went the extra mile to eliminate plastic in its vehicles, with the interior panels mostly consisting of steel wrapped in various materials that are warmer to the touch.

Since its inception in 2013, Brandt BRV has sold 55 bakkies to customers not only in South Africa but across the globe, and it currently has an order book for 17 units which will all be built over the next six months.

Brandt BRV bakkies



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