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Flybrian

Pickups Seen in China's Future

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Growing Segment

Pickups seen in China's future

By JAMES B. TREECE | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 11/16/06, 3:59 pm et

Link to Original Article @ Autoweek

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BEIJING -- Pickups are in China's future. But not large, U.S.-made ones, said experts here at the Automotive News China Congress.

"Not the huge Tundra we are just about to roll out from Texas," said Yoshimi Inaba, Toyota Motor Corp.'s executive vice president for China.

China's huge rural population now relies on bare-bones minicars and minitrucks priced between $3,000 and $5,000. Sales of those vehicles amount to about 800,000 a year. Foreign carmakers have not tried to compete in that segment. They have concentrated instead on the booming urban market for larger cars.

"The urban elite has pushed cars in front. But as rural areas develop, there is no doubt that a market for pickups will develop," said Michael Dunne, president of Automotive Resources Asia Ltd., a Beijing consulting company.

Pickups from Thailand "will be the next step up" for rural Chinese buyers, Dunne predicted.

Thailand is the world's second-largest producer of pickups as well as the second-largest market for them. The United States is first. In Thailand, pickups are used by farmers and small businesses to bring products to and from farms and cities.

Toyota's Inaba generally agreed with Dunne. He said there is still some debate whether those buyers would trade up to a bigger car or stick with a more rural-use vehicle such as a pickup.

But, he said, "When the income goes up a little bit, I think there will be a very good market for pickups."

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I think this is a Jin Bei truck.

I was glad to hear that Jin Bei was not one of the Chinese companies coming here. Their trucks and vans were some of the most style-less vehicles I've ever seen.

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Guest YellowJacket894

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I wonder if when you hit a tree trunk head on, does the steering column, which is most likely at a ninety-degree angle because this has all of the styling traits and characteristics of a 1992 Isuzu moving van with the bed of a 1978 PUP pickup bed grafted onto the back, jut straight out of it's normal spot and impale the driver right through the sternum and puncture his heart? Hmmmm. . . :scratchchin:

I don't think I've seen a bigger rolling death trap since the Yugo.

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A 4 door Colorado with a Z71 package would dominate that market. GM should do a stripper version with the easiest to work on engine and then sale it as cheap as possible. They would be ahead of every major auto maker to the segment and take a nice chunk out of that 800,000 unit annual sales. :ohyeah::yes:

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A 4 door Colorado with a Z71 package would dominate that market. GM should do a stripper version with the easiest to work on engine and then sale it as cheap as possible. They would be ahead of every major auto maker to the segment and take a nice chunk out of that 800,000 unit annual sales. :ohyeah:  :yes:

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Problem is - "rural population now relies on bare-bones minicars and minitrucks priced between $3,000 and $5,000."

How is GM supposed to pull a profit from a $5k vehicle when they only just figured out recenly how to make a profit on the Cobalt?

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Problem is - "rural population now relies on bare-bones minicars and minitrucks priced between $3,000 and $5,000."

How is GM supposed to pull a profit from a $5k vehicle when they only just figured out recenly how to make a profit on the Cobalt?

217506[/snapback]

They build Wuling-brand minitrucks themselves, that's how.

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