Panda-faced Chery QQ3 now extinct in South Africa. File photo: Motus

Johannesburg - The country's cheapest car, the Chery QQ3, has quietly slipped off the market and the Chinese brand is no longer importing cars to South Africa.

Chinese-built Foton bakkies have also been discontinued in South Africa. Both brands were imported by Motus, the Imperial division which is also responsible for distributing Renault, Kia and Hyundai. Motus will continue to honour warranties on Fotons and Cherys, and provide after-sales support along with spare parts.

The entry-level Chery 800cc TE, priced at R99 995, was South Africa's most affordable car and the only one to sell for under R100 000. It was launched here in 2008 and Chery’s range also included the larger J2 and J3 hatchbacks, the Tiggo small SUV and the P10 minibus.

However, the QQ3, which lacked key safety features such as airbags or ABS brakes, garnered bad publicity in November 2017 when it scored zero stars in a crash test of South African budget cars.

Foton bakkies now fot-off. File photo: Motus

The Foton line up comprised the Tunland one ton bakkie in single- and double-cab variants, and were considered to be among the better Chinese-sourced bakkies.

For more information, existing Foton and Chery owners can call the hotline on 0861 757 555.

Drive360