Ford and General Motors are intending the pick-up truck, a renowned staple in the United States, at upmarket purchasers in China, where most associate trucks with farmers and building employees.
“The Chinese call it pika, pika – a really low-end worker’s (vehicle). However the (Ford F-150) Raptor is totally different,” stated Wesley Liu, Ford’s Asia-Pacific sales director, ahead of this month’s Guangzhou auto show.
Trucks are mainly limited to over night driving in the majority of Chinese cities, however four provinces – Yunnan, Liaoning, Hebei and Henan – have this year introduced trial programmes enabling them into urban zones in an effort to stimulate production as financial growth, and automobile sales, slow.
With those looser limitations, U.S. pick-up makers aim to distance their trucks from regional models made by Great Wall Motor, Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) and others – and attract Chinese premium buyers, such as Meng Shuo.
The 32-year-old creator of an investment consultancy, who presently owned a Chevrolet Camaro when he bought an F-150 pick-up truck five years ago through an unofficial grey market importer. Since then he has traded it in for a Toyota Tundra, and also owns a Mercedes luxury sedan and Porsche and Mitsubishi sports cars.
Ford stated in April it would bring a high-performance variation of its F-series – the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 34 years – to China, the world’s biggest automobile market. A spokesman stated the automaker is studying whether to bring a mass-market design such as the F-150 or Ranger pick-up to China, depending on need and future policies.
“The individuals who buy the Raptor possibly own some other premium automobile already. This is another toy,” Liu stated.
The truck is focused at four kinds of buyers, he stated – the rich, who want to stick out from the crowd; company owner, who want more than a standard industrial car; drivers who desire a single vehicle for all scenarios; and “gearheads”, who just like the mechanics.