Ford, Great Wall see opportunity in growing pickup demand in China


Great Wall’s new leisure pickup would be similar to Ford’s midsize Ranger and priced at more than 200,000 yuan ($29,800), a mark up of at least 70 percent over its current most expensive pickup, sources familiar with the plan said.

“We aim to make this higher-end pickup feel more like a passenger vehicle and it will have an interior design like our SUV models,” said one source.

According to a separate source, the vehicle is part of the company’s plan to eventually enter the United States, although the model would likely have to be modified. Great Wall had aimed to enter the U.S. market in 2021 but U.S.-China trade tensions have currently made exports from China uneconomical.

Ford plans to launch a new pickup in China this year, adding to the F-150 Raptor which it introduced in early 2017 and the Ranger which was launched in 2018. Sales for the Raptor, priced from 466,800 yuan ($69,565), tripled to nearly 2,500 vehicles last year, the company said. It declined to disclose sales for the Ranger which sells from 305,800 yuan ($45,570).

“Ford continues to see growing opportunities in China’s pickup truck market, because of a combination of regulatory conditions and growing consumer interest,” a spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.

With China pushing the development of electric vehicles hard, some domestic makers have joined Great Wall in looking at electric pickups, including Ford partner Jiangling Motors and Volkswagen partner JAC Motors.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. is developing a new electric pickup, a company source told Reuters, adding it would be made by its Yuan Cheng Auto unit. The source, who declined to be named as the plans are not public, did not provide further details.

Some global automakers, however, have yet to jump into the market feet first and their models are primarily imported and sold by independent dealers.

Li Jiyuan, who works at a dealership that sells Toyota Motor Corp. and Ram pickups, says business has been hit somewhat by trade war uncertainties. To drum up more traffic, the dealership will expand into sales of BMW crossovers and explore online sales, he added.


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