The Tesla Cybertruck becomes instant celebrity in China

Credit: @JayinShanghai/X

China is not a country of pickup trucks. China is the world’s largest automotive market, and in 2023, sales accelerated to a record 30.09 million units, approximately 512,000 of which were pickup trucks. This means that in 2023, pickup trucks accounted for just about 1.7% of the Chinese auto market. 

Part of this is due to the fact that pickup trucks are classified as light trucks in China, so they face restrictions compared to passenger cars like the Model Y. Pickup trucks are required to drive on the rightmost “slow” lane on highways, and they are only allowed to travel up to 100 kph (62 mph). They are subjected to mandated scrapping after 15 years as well, and some Chinese cities impose limitations on pickups entering urban areas. 

One could then not be faulted for stating that the Tesla Cybertruck looks like a pretty bad fit for China. Pickup trucks are not popular at all in the country, and the Cybertruck is very expensive to begin with. With this in mind, it does seem that bringing the Cybertruck to China, where it is not even sold today, was an exercise in futility. But as per videos taken of the vehicle amidst the Cybertruck’s multi-city tour, it appears that bringing the all-electric pickup truck to China may very well have been worth it.

Videos posted on social media revealed that the Cybertruck has attracted large crowds of people. In Shanghai, long lines of people could be seen waiting for their chance to see the Cybertruck in person. The same is true for the Nanjing Xinjiekou Deji Plaza, where numerous people could be seen visiting the Cybertruck. Overall, the Cybertruck tour in China seems to be very successful, and the all-electric pickup truck has become an instant celebrity

The reasons for this insane reaction could be a variety of things, though Tesla bulls such as Wall Street veteran and The Future Fund Managing Partner Gary Black have noted in the past that a vehicle like the Cybertruck will have a “halo effect” of sorts. The vehicle’s current reception in China, where the Cybertruck may not even be sold at all, suggests that this halo effect is very much present. 

It remains to be seen if the Cybertruck would be a success or not. It continually attracts equal amounts of love and hate from consumers, especially in the United States, which would likely be its primary market. One thing’s for sure, however. The public’s reaction and apparent support for the vehicle in China would be nowhere close if the Cybertruck were a conventional pickup truck that just happens to be electric. 

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The Tesla Cybertruck becomes instant celebrity in China
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