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.
Join the crowd and feel the enthusiasm! 🤩😎📐 https://t.co/nnLQGjfill— Tesla Asia (@Tesla_Asia) January 29, 2024
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.
China is going crazy for the Cybertruck, Tesla absolutely needs to find a way to get through all regulations to sell it here, let alone even build it right there in the heart of Giga Shanghai bc it’s clear, they really want it @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/hyaoQEqnj9— Teslaconomics (@Teslaconomics) January 28, 2024
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.
Cybertruck China Tour was really eventful on day 1 in all 8 locations across China. People are genuinely interested in this unique vehicle. There’s a market there for this type of recreational/adventure vehicle. Hopefully Tesla will be able to tweak it to comply with pedestrian… pic.twitter.com/xd7gCAE0gn— Ray (@ray4tesla) January 28, 2024
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.
8 Cybertruck display locations in China seen on Day 1. pic.twitter.com/PYE1eS98PX— Ray (@ray4tesla) January 28, 2024
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