Ford, Chevrolet See New Market For Pickup Trucks In Wealthy Chinese Buyers

Thu, Dec 1, 2016 1,143

Think American pickup trucks are only for rough, outdoorsy types? Well, apparently so do Chinese auto buyers.

But that’s apparently changing.

Ford and General Motors are marketing their pickups toward wealthy buyers in China, where many consumers still associate trucks with construction workers and farmers, according to Automotive News.

The strategy focuses on using high-end pickups, like the Ford Raptor, to shift the narrative on trucks in Asia.

“The Chinese call it pika, pika — a very low-end worker’s [vehicle]. But the [Ford F-150] Raptor is totally different,” Ford Asia-Pacific sales director Wesley Liu said, via Automotive News. “The people who buy the Raptor maybe own some other premium vehicle already. This is another toy.”

The truck is aimed at four types of buyers, according to Liu: the wealthy, business owners, drivers who want vehicles for multiple situations and auto enthusiasts who are focused on mechanics.

Perception isn’t the only obstacle U.S. automakers face in China. Truck owners are restricted from using them depending on time and location, according to Automotive News, but four provinces recently launched trial programs allowing trucks into urban areas in an effort to stimulate production amid slowing auto sales.

Chevrolet and Ford reportedly both expect to launch pickups in China next year, although prices have not yet been announced.

Thumbnail photo via Ford