So the Ford F150 Raptor is Popular in China

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The Detroit News is running a report on the popularity of Ford F150 Raptors in the PRC, the hulking big vehicle has been on sale in China for a number of years and has always been a niche product. But why do people buy it? Because they’ve got something unique. Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s have always been the ultimate sign of wealth but with these cars becoming so commonplace its time to turn to something a little bit more unique, and that’s the F150 and other full size pick up trucks.

Pick Up Trucks are low cost vehicles in the PRC, retailing for circa 100,000RMB and often much less. They have strong rivals in the light weight truck range such as Wuling and Chang’an vehicles that use much smaller 1.0L or 1.3L engines, pick up trucks can carry and tow more of course which makes them more popular in construction projects. The biggest draw back to pick up truck life in the PRC is that they are considered goods vehicles and need to pay extra tax and are also banned from certain city center roads, or from cities all together unless you have a special access license.

Perhaps the government will lessen the requirements for pick up trucks in the near future, but we can’t expect it to happen over night, perhaps if Chinese manufacturers launched some larger, newer pick up trucks that aren’t based on the remains on some late Isuzu models then more consumers would drive them instead of cars.

ord Motor Co.’s off-road SVT Raptor has a devoted following in an unlikely place: China, where Ford doesn’t even sell the tricked-out, bad-boy F-150.

Buyers on the gray market — outside authorized dealer channels — pay four times the U.S. sticker price for the pickup.

Newly wealthy truck fans in China are lusting over the SVT Raptor with its aggressive styling, heavy-duty skid plates and long-travel suspension, and big-bore 6.2-liter V-8.

The SVT Raptor has a starting price of $43,340 in the U.S. In China, it can command the equivalent of $160,000, or 1 million yuan in the local currency, according to the CarNewsChina.com enthusiast site. The website documented a used 2010 model purchased for $109,000.

Other Chinese websites show several Raptors for sale at significant markups. Autohome.com.cn has an SVT Raptor SuperCrew for sale for the Chinese equivalent of about $145,000.

P.S. I saw a modified Ford 650 for sale 2.45 million RMB or 390,000USD several days ago.

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4 Comments

  • Cory
    November 13, 2012

    I see a ton of these in Chengdu. I’ve had a few pickups in the US and generally like them although they are clearly not fit for driving around in Chinese cities. That’s all we need is for millions of Chinese to start favoring American pickup trucks. After this perhaps they will start importing 60s Cadillacs and Lincolns :-)

  • Ash
    November 13, 2012

    Id love a truck, but not a full or mid size American beast.

  • Gerald
    November 14, 2012

    I had forgotten about the licensing restrictions on trucks. That makes the Raptor I saw here with 京A plates even more unusual.

  • Ash
    November 15, 2012

    The importers are signing them off as SUV’s rather than commercial vehicles when they enter the port at Tianjin. Interestingly, Qingdao has also been allocated a license to import cars via its own ports so perhaps we will see even more of these vehicles in the future.

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