Ford Motor Company today announced that it will introduce the Ford Ranger mid-size pickup to China starting in 2018, expanding its truck footprint – which so far consists of the F-150 Raptor – in the pivotal market.
“We’re very excited to bring ‘Built Ford Tough,’ one of the world’s best loved and most successful brands, to customers in the world’s largest auto market,” says Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “We see a significant white-space opportunity with Chinese buyers increasingly looking for more capable, more refined and more stylish pickups.”
Historically, the pickup truck market in China has been limited by laws that restrict or ban their use in certain provinces, especially where there is a high population density. Those regulations are starting to be rethought and relaxed, however, and China’s sheer market size means that even while pickups make up a small percentage of all vehicles on the road, there is still a large volume of them in the market.
In fact, Ford says that China is the fourth-largest truck market in the world, despite the segment only occupying a 2-percent share. Chinese sales of trucks grew 14 percent last year.
Tomorrow, at a special event in Shanghai, Ford will announce more details about its play to sell more light-duty trucks in the Chinese market, at the same time that it expounds upon its electrified-vehicle strategy in the country. This will include finally cluing us in on what the all-new Ford F-150 Raptor will actually cost in China.
“We see an opportunity to satisfy unmet need in China – for world-class, stylish and refined pickups – and also to be a pioneer in this emerging segment,” says Ford China CEO and Asia Pacific President Dave Schoch. “Built Ford Tough is a proven brand, dating back to 1976 and we believe it has the opportunity to resonate powerfully with Chinese consumers.”