Come 1-October 2016, four Chinese provinces - Liaoning, Henan, Hebei and Yunnan – will lift the decades old ban on pick-up trucks entering city centres, reports Bloomberg. Although the ban is still active in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, the move is expected to pave the way for the so-called ‘urban truck culture’ to take hold in China.
Ford has since announced that it will be introducing its iconic F-150 Raptor in China next year.
In China, pick-up trucks are classified as commercial vehicles. To ease traffic congestion and air pollution in urban areas, pick-up trucks are banned from entering certain ring roads or highways in urban areas.
The move to relax the ban in the four provinces is yet another counter-measure by the Chinese government to deftly balance the impact of a slowing economy and worsening traffic congestion.
China is facing its slowest economic growth in 25 years, and although the automotive industry still appears healthy, much of the 8.1 percent growth recorded in the first half of 2016 is attributed to heavy discounting by dealers, and a temporary tax cut for passenger vehicles with engine capacities below 1,600cc. The tax cut will expire by 31-December 2016.
The report by Bloomberg also pointed out that Hebei and Henan are home to Great Wall, China’s leading domestic 4x4 brand, and Nissan’s local joint venture for commercial vehicles Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile.
Traffic in Chinese megacities is some of the worst in the world, as are its air quality. As of June, China is home to 184 million motor vehicles, up 18 percent from last year. Seven Chinese cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Guiyang, Henan, and Shenzhen – limit the total number of vehicles registered each year, and license plates are distributed via a lottery system.