When General Motors, specifically Chevrolet, announced it would send the Silverado and Colorado pickups to China for the first time ever, we were scratching our heads a bit. Who wants to purchase a pickup truck in China? Especially when the vehicle configuration is deemed low on the totem poll regarding one’s financial status.
Well, Reuters has gotten to the bottom of it. Chevrolet will make a clear play to launch the 2017 Silverado and 2017 Colorado as premium offerings in the Chinese market and will take careful consideration to distance the models from local pickup brands.
Currently, pickup trucks are banned from urban environments during the day time and may only be driven at night in many areas. But certain Chinese provinces have relaxed those restrictions, meaning a new segment is opening up before American automakers’ eyes. And wealthy Chinese consumers hold an appreciation for the American truck, noted by gray market imports of F-150s and the like.
And the wealthy will likely be the only one who can afford them, too. The Silverado and Colorado will not be produced locally, meaning China will hit each incoming truck with a 25 percent import tariff. However, if local analysts are proven right, China’s pickup market could be huge in the near future.