Vehicle hijacking is very much a game of supply and demand, and it’s an unfortunate reality that motorists need to remain alert at all times.
Fidelity Services Group has warned that although it didn’t record a spike in hijackings over the recent festive season, available data shows that a spike in this scourge could occur from January into February.
Fidelity CEO Wahl Bartmann says that hijackers target specific vehicles for a specific purpose and market and that right now the demand for vehicle brands such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford and Nissan remains high.
More specifically the most high-risk vehicle models at the moment are as follows:
- Toyota Fortuner (GD-6 and D-4D)
- Toyota Hilux (GD-6 and D-4D)
- Toyota Corolla Cross
- Toyota Rav4
- Volkswagen Polo
- Nissan NP200
- Ford Ranger
This list is based on the Fidelity SecureDrive base for 2023 and into the new year.
Both newer-generation (GD-6) and older-generation (D-4D) Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models are being targeted, according to the data.
Single cab and double cab versions of the Ford Ranger are being targeted, according to Fidelity, and in the Volkswagen Polo’s case the demand is skewed towards hatchbacks.
Although the aforementioned vehicles are listed as specific targets it’s worth keeping in mind that they are all among the top-selling vehicles in the country, so in theory there should be a degree of safety in numbers as there are a lot more of these vehicles on the roads.
Fidelity Services Group further warned that utility vehicles and trucks are being targeted for their cargo.
Around 30% of all stolen and hijacked vehicles are taken across the border into neighbouring countries.
Fidelity CEO Bartmann also pointed out that hijacking victims are mostly targeted at or close to their homes or places of work. Victim kidnappings remain a worrying trend as criminals use this tactic to probe for the location of the tracking device and to delay the reporting of the crime.
“Do not offer any resistance during a hijacking. Remember that perpetrators are always armed and would not hesitate to fire when confronted. Additional perpetrators may stand out of view and fire should you fight back,” Bartmann warned.