GM's Chevy Silverado, Colorado pickup to enter China in 2017

GM's Chevy Silverado, Colorado pickup to enter China in 2017

Author: Claire   

General Motors announced plans to begin selling its Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado pickups in China next year, as they seek to explore business opportunities in China's domestic market.

The two automobiles were recently on display at the Guangzhou Auto Show. The Silverado and Colorado are unquestionably General Motors' core products. Over 17 million Silverados have been sold around the world. The Colorado was selected as "Best Pickup of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine in 2015 and 2016. 

GM will assemble the two types of trucks in the United States and then export them. Yet they won't be opening a local pickup factory in China.

This is not the first time U.S. automakers have introduced imported pickups to China. This past April, GM's biggest competitor, Ford, announced it will ship its popular F-150 Raptor off-road pickup to the Chinese market in 2017.

So why are these two major automakers heading into the Chinese market? That's directly related to the recent loosening of Chinese transportation policies. This past March, the Chinese government granted a "green pass" for pickups to be on the road in four provinces. Those provinces are Henan and Hebei in the central area and the north, Liaoning in the northeast and Yunnan in the southwest.

Previously, due to environmental protection and transportation issues, driving pickups in urban cities in China has often been banned -- especially during the daytime. The ban is due to multiple reasons: pickup trucks might bring more traffic jams to the already congested cities, and items from the open pickups might fall off and unleash danger to other vehicles. Moreover, Chinese regulators are trying hard to give benefits to fuel-efficient cars. These include halving the 10% sales tax on small vehicles and granting electric vehicles subsidies of up to $15,000. These things are obstacles to the use of pickups.

However, the case outside of China is completely different. Pickups are popular all around the world, especially in the U.S. For automakers, if there's rarely a pickup be seen in China, it means there's a hidden business opportunity. Therefore, when China loosened its aforementioned policy, the U.S. auto giants emerged to enter the "newly available" marketplace. 

Currently, Nissan Motor Co. is the only global auto manufacturer building pickups in China. All imported U.S. trucks entering China will be greeted with a 25% duty fee, plus a 17% value-added tax. This is definitely not a low price for the Chinese market. Whether the American pickups will attract local consumers and grab a slice of the pie is a great unknown. 

Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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