But China’s pickup volumes have a long way to go before they reach U.S. levels. U.S. pickup sales climbed 6 percent last year to 3.1 million, accounting for 18.2 percent of all new vehicles sold. In comparison, China pickup sales decreased 4.7 percent to around 452,000, in an overall market down 8.2 percent for its second-straight year of contraction.
Kang forecasts China pickup sales to decline to 390,847 in 2020, due partly to the pandemic.
Pickup sales are supported by a gradual loosening of restrictions on driving the trucks in cities. Regulators have eased up, partly in an effort to fan sales amid the market slump. Demand is considered still largely untapped and primed for long-term growth.
Other big domestic players include Jiangling Motors Corp., Jiangxi Isuzu Motors Co., Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co. and Jianghuai Automobile Co. But late last year, Ford told Reuters it might consider local production of pickups, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it planned to someday…