[photopress:Great_Wall_ute.jpg,full,alignright]In Australia it is called a ute, short for utility, and every farmer, or would-be farmer, has one. Often gussied up to the nines with all sorts of embellishments. It is not the sort of machine you associate with China. And yet it is big time.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has announced that China’s major pickup truck producers sold 84,755 units in the first half of this year, with domestically-owned brands accounting for nearly 80% of the total sales.
Great Wall, Zhongxing and Zhengzhou-Nissan were the top three sellers.
Between January and June, 25,016 Great Wall pickup trucks were sold, or 29.5% of the total sales. They were followed by Zhongxing pickup trucks with sales of 14,287, or 16.9% and then by Zhongzhou-Nissan pickup trucks with sales of 13,033, 15.4%.
China’s total vehicle sales amounted to 4.37 million in the six-month period, a growth of 23.3% on the same period of last year. Last year China became the world’s second largest market for new vehicles after the United States, with annual sales at 7.22 million.
There is something very tempting about the idea of hooning around the Australian outback in a Great Wall ute. And have no doubt that some day, soon, that will not only be possible, it will be commonplace.
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