Could This Chinese Pickup Beat Ford Ranger?
Great Wall Motor Company wants to pick off the American pickup. It is the largest SUV and pickup manufacturer in China. With the intro of its three new pickup trucks, it has made no attempt to hide what it’s aiming for. It wants to beat the Ford Ranger in sales.
At the new P-Series truck’s debut at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show, a Great Wall top executive said the new generation truck has the potential to outsell the Ford Ranger. Since this is the first truck Great Wall plans to sell internationally, they have a shot.
First-time Chinese pickups designed for different markets
The Great Wall new P-Series pickups include a heavy-duty passenger pickup version, an off-roader, and commercial versions. This is the first time that Great Wall has designed separate models for distinct needs. Habao Zhang, Great Wall brand director, said, “We will make every endeavor to be the top three compact and midsize pickup in the overseas markets.”
Globally, the Toyota Hilux holds the crown for segment sales. It sold almost 350,000 units worldwide. The Isuzu D-Max was second with a bit over 300,000 sales, and the GMC Sierra followed it with about 275,000 sold.
Before becoming available here, the Ford Ranger was selling 267,153 pickups a year. Now that it sells in the US its annual sales figure is expected to rise. For 2020 Great Wall has set a goal of over 200,000 pickup sales.
Great Wall loads pickups with advanced features
Besides the unique models from a single truck, Great Wall is also offering many more features than in the past. This is another way it hopes to beat Ranger. Multi-link rear suspension with ACC adaptive cruise control, automatic parking, heated steering wheel, remote control, and voice control are all part of the P-Series package. To now Chinese trucks tend to be spartan, so this is a big step.
The off-road version has front and rear diff locks, winch, air snorkel, and “other professional off-road configurations including a wading depth of three feet.
An all-electric pickup is available with 310-mile range
It is also offering an all-electric commercial pickup with a range of 310 miles. This is significant because Ford and Chevy are playing catchup in this segment. Both have yet to offer an all-electric pickup. And, of course, the EV pickup news centers almost exclusively around Tesla and Rivian EV pickups.
From a styling standpoint, the P-Series is an amalgam of Ranger, Colorado, and F-150 design cues. Unfortunately, there is nothing that stands out, but that may be intentional. Rather than forging new design initiatives, Great Wall is looking to get established. Maybe it feels that the less it stands out is probably for the better at this stage.
Though Great Wall was established in the mid-1980s, it is a substantial vehicle manufacturer. lts vehicle brands include Haval, WEY, and Ora; all of which it has plans to expand internationally.