The Nissan 1400 bakkie is still one of the most targeted vehicles.
Some vehicle tracking companies declined to give a detailed breakdown of the types of vehicles popular for hijackings because only about 15 percent of the licensed vehicle population have tracking devices installed. Their statistics would, therefore, not give a true reflection of the situation in South Africa, they said.
However, the general consensus was that bakkies, entry-level sedans, luxury vehicles and 4x4s
were popular targets. The South African Police Service concurred with these statistics.
Police spokesperson Phindile Radebe said Nissan 1400 bakkies, VW Golfs and 4x4s
were the most common targets for hijackers.
Toyota Hi-Ace and Siyaya
vehicles consistently top Altech Netstar's list of popular hijack and theft vehicles because of their attractiveness to the minibus taxi industry.
The company's regional manager for KwaZulu-Natal, John Taylor, said bakkies made by Toyota, Isuzu and Nissan
were the next on the list. In particular, the Nissan 1400 bakkie
was a common target, he said.
"This is the most basic vehicle you can buy on the South African market and is easy to break into... in some cases they are stolen for their parts but are also easily recycled because of their popularity," he said.
In the sedan category, VWs and Toyotas were "hot favourites", while luxury sedans and 4x4s
were hijacked mainly as a result of "orders".
Taylor added that, in many instances, the age of the vehicle was not important because, apart from the luxury vehicle and 4x4 categories, most of these vehicles ended up in chop shops.
Gareth Crocker, a spokesperson for Tracker, said South Africa had a culture of people driving vehicles they were not able to maintain with original manufacturer parts, hence the lure of buying parts on the black market. This fuelled further thefts and hijackings.
Statistics from Matrix vehicle tracking showed that trucks and light delivery vehicles generally topped its list of most popular vehicle types stolen in the province.
Matrix's chief technical officer, Richard Timm, said trucks were mostly stolen for the cargo they carried.
Luxury 4x4s and new bakkies are most likely to be "exported" to Mozambique because of their capability of traversing rough terrain.
Among the least likely vehicles to be hijacked is the Hyundai brand, as there are not that many on the road compared with other brands. However, once the popularity of this vehicle grows, older vehicles could become targets.