It’s big, it’s bold, it’s brash, and it’s going to China.
Ford announced late last week that it would introduce the Raptor super-truck in China, another example of a long developing trend: China’s taste in cars is looking more and more like the United States’.
Carmakers are enjoying huge sales of SUVs in China. Last week, a surprising earnings beat by GM was in large part thanks to the trend. At the Beijing Auto show this week, several other automakers introduced SUVs, some of them specific to the Chinese market.
While Ford missed projections, it has been rapidly expanding its Chinese operations, especially in SUVs.
It is no surprise that considering its success at selling the same big vehicles American consumers love, Ford should want to try its hand at selling that other great bastion of American automotive taste: the pickup truck.
It’s also the first vehicle from Ford’s “Performance Division” to make it to China, an attempt by the company to the introduce the “halo effect” to the fastest-growing car market in the world.
Exciting, range-topping vehicles like the Raptor truck — while only to sell in limited quantities — will attract buyers to the rest of the Ford lineup.
Ford Performance marketing manager Henry Ford III recently told AutoBlog that the Focus RS, the sporty hatchback also from the Performance lineup, would also make it to China in the near future, while there are currently no plans to bring the Performance Division variants of the Mustang over there.
But for now, the few lucky Chinese Ford Raptor customers will enjoy some serious off-roading capability mated to a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 and a brand-new 10-speed transmission.