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New Chinese car brand setting up shop in South Africa – Everything we know

Yet another Chinese manufacturer is currently busy setting up shop in South Africa, this time it’s Jetour.

Like Omoda and Jaecoo, Jetour is a Chery Group subsidiary and one of the top-selling SUV manufacturers in its home country.

Interestingly, however, it is not launching in the domestic market under the Chery umbrella.

When queried about its plans for the brand after spotting a fresh new Jetour dealership in Centurion, Gauteng, a spokesperson for Chery said that “Jetour is not part of Chery in South Africa” as it decided to enter the country completely on its own accord.

The parent company could therefore provide no details on its sub-brand’s local operations.

Earlier this year, Chery said that it intends to introduce several of its sub-brands to South Africa over the coming years but it avoided commenting on Jetour specifically, which makes a lot more sense now that we know the two nameplates will be acting independently within our borders.

After doing more digging, we discovered that Jetour opened a new Facebook page under the name “Jetour South Africa” in March of this year.

It also launched a “Jetour South Africa Official” website sometime in the recent past, though the site is currently under a Chinese domain name and has very little info, hinting that the company is still trying to keep its intentions out of the limelight for the time being.

With Jetour’s local introduction shrouded in mystery, TopAuto approached the Centurion dealer in hopes of uncovering more information.

A friendly employee explained that the location is still operating as a pre-owned Mazda franchise whilst Jetour is hanging up the signage and solidifying its domestic rollout strategy.

They said the Chinese brand will officially open its doors in South Africa in September this year, but that past this, they knew less than we did.

What to expect

The Jetour South Africa website provides the most tangible hints of the first vehicles the automaker will put on our roads.

It currently has listed the “Dashing” and “X70 Plus” – the former being described as a “Vanguard Technology SUV” and the latter an “All-Round Travel SUV.”

Both these models were also plastered on a promotional flyer at the Gauteng-based Jetour dealer, so it’s highly likely that they will be the ones we get first.

The Dashing is the flashiest of the two SUVs with a modern design aesthetic and dimensions coming in at 4,590mm long, 1,900mm wide, and 1,685mm tall.

Depending on the market, this model is sold in six trims with the entry-level variants featuring a 1.5-litre, turbo-petrol engine generating 115kW and 230Nm, matched with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Alternatively, the flagship is available with a 1.6-litre unit churning out 145kW and 290Nm.

The Dashing further comes with an abundance of nice-to-haves, with features such as intelligent LED lights, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and start, a 15.6-inch infotainment system, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, 40W wireless chargers, and a comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems being available.

Jetour Dashing

The X70 Plus clearly caters to more of a family crowd, being available in a seven-seater configuration and occupying a footprint of 4,274mm in length, 1,900mm in width, and 1,720mm in height.

It has access to the same 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre powertrain options as the Dashing across a total of three specifications.

Inside, this Jetour boasts leather trimmings, heated and ventilated front seats with electric adjustability, a fully digital driver’s display, a 10.25-inch media hub, a digital climate control panel, a panoramic sunroof, 7-colour ambient lighting, and a wireless charger.

It also offers automatic LED lights, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and front-collision warnings.

Jetour X70 Plus

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