The Chinese love pickup trucks just like in the US. But, guess what is at the heart of the Chinese 2020 Jiangling Motor Corporation Tiger pickup? A Ford EcoDiesel four-cylinder engine. In fact, Ford has a one-third share of JMC Yuhu trucks built in China since 1995. Interestingly, neither Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, or GM build its own pickups in China. And, the US won’t be seeing the JMC Tiger pickup.
China likes its pickup trucks. But, where a pickup can go has restrictions. Certain city centers won’t allow pickup trucks to enter them because of their already congested conditions. So, while pickups like this JMC Tiger are popular, US manufacturers feel these restrictions limit pickup truck sales.
Why Doesn’t Ford Build Pickups In China?
Ford has stated it would like to produce pickups in China. But it would have to change its restriction policy for Ford to consider that move.
The newest Tiger made its debut in China in 2017. It’s only available as a double-cab with seating for five people. Engines available include the Ecoboost 2.0-liter gas version sourced from Ford with 205 hp or the 2.4-liter turbo-diesel from Mitsubishi with 140 hp. You can get either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Most pickups in China are diesel-powered, so the Ecoboost gas engine is a relatively new development for Pickup sales. The Ecoboost is called “turboservice” in China.
Ecoboost Engine, Storm Trooper Grille
The Tiger looks in many ways like a Ford Ranger pickup, except for the front end. It’s controversial in China, with many calling it the “Stormtrooper” front end. Star Wars is popular there also, so the reference might be apt. It is very aggressive for sure.
It is said to have been inspired by its wild pickup concept from 2015 called “Futuristic YuHu.” With all of the wild design features, the Futuristic Yuhu has it is odd that the Tiger designers chose to use only the front end for inspiration. We would have liked JMC to have produced its Futuristic Yuhu just like the concept. Except, with a different front end rather than the other way around.
The Tiger comes in both two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. In 2019 it added an electric version called the T500EV. That engine produces 120kW with a range of 200 miles. There is also an upgraded Tiger called the Yuhu 9. It features a different front end and more bright trim along with a rear camera, an eight-inch infotainment screen, sunroof, and leather interior.
JMC Pulled Tiger From Australia
JMC does export the Tiger pickup and for two years it was sold in Australia. After poor sales for those two years, JMC pulled the plug and stopped selling it there in 2018. Rumors indicate JMC wants to return to Australia with a more competitive pickup sharing features similar to its competition.
Jiangling is the sixth-largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in China. It was founded in 1947 and is based in Xiaolan, Guangdong. It produces over 850,000 vehicles a year and employs 26,000 workers.
Prices for the Tiger in China are $19,900 for a base model, to $26,100 for the most expensive version.