Ford F-150 Raptor Joining China’s Truck Market
Just like a lot of parking lots in the U.S., China has its share of trucks. But it has nothing like the Ford F-150 Raptor. That will change when the EcoBoost-ed beast roars its way into the People’s Republic.
In fact, the way the country looks at trucks in general is already changing. A variety of Chinese automakers produce trucks. However, they’re largely seen as low-end tools used in construction and farming. According to Automotive News, “Trucks are largely restricted to overnight driving in most Chinese cities. But four provinces — Yunnan, Liaoning, Hebei and Henan — have this year launched trial programs allowing them into urban zones in an attempt to stimulate production as economic growth and auto sales slow.” On top of that, margins in the popular and populous SUV market are reported to be “under pressure.”
Next year, Ford will be importing the Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew into China. The company aims to sell it to businesses in search of a truck that’s different from a traditional commercial vehicle. However, it will also concentrate on putting Raptor keys into the hands of wealthy people who want to stand out from everyone else. The company also has its eye on consumers looking for a vehicle that can handle all situations. Automotive enthusiasts who appreciate the truck’s performance and hardware are also being looked at. No matter who buys the Raptor in China, they’ll have to pay a pretty penny because the country charges a 25-percent tax on imports.
Depending on the success of the Raptor and regulatory developments, Ford will respond accordingly. It may try to send the regular F-150 and the Ranger over to China in the future. If the trial programs kicked off in the four provinces produces desired results for the Chinese government, the country may become more hospitable to trucks of all makes. This could happen by reclassifying pickups as passenger cars in hopes of increasing production.
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via [Automotive News – sub. req’d]