Pickup’s freedom to enter the city is not far off

Text | Guo Yu

Editor | Shi Zhiliang

No passes are required, and there are no time limits. Pickup trucks can move in and out of the city like sedans, or it will become easier.

▲ Image source: IC

On October 26, the General Office of the State Council issued the “Tenth National Deepening “Delegation, Regulation and Service” Reform Video and Telephone Conference Key Task Division Plan” (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”) pointed out that “extending the time allowed for trucks to pass on urban roads. , relax the tonnage restrictions, promote the cancellation of the restrictions on pickup trucks entering the city, expand the range and extend the passage time of new energy distribution trucks, and further facilitate the passage of trucks on urban roads.”

Previously, pickups were restricted by the area and hours they could drive in many cities. Li Shaohua, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, told Caijingqiche (ID: caijingqiche) that pickups are classified as light trucks. In urban traffic management, light trucks are generally allowed in cities, but some cities have high traffic pressure. Therefore, the method of restricting the driving area and time period of light trucks has been adopted, so that pickup trucks have been greatly restricted in terms of the right of way.

This is the third time the State Council has issued a document this year about the “unbinding” of pickup trucks entering the city.

The first two documents were issued during the period from April to May of this year. The “Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Further Unleashing Consumption Potential and Promoting the Sustainable Recovery of Consumption” and the “Notice of the State Council on a Package of Policies and Measures to Consolidate and Stabilize the Economy” were successively issued. It is proposed to “implement refined management of pickup trucks entering the city, and study to further relax the restrictions on pickup trucks entering the city”.

“It is an inevitable trend for pickup trucks to be lifted nationwide.” Li Shaohua told Caijing Automobile (ID: caijingqiche) that as of October 15, 286 cities have been lifted from the ban across the country. According to the 337 cities above the prefecture level, the number of cities currently lifted is accounted for Up to 85.12%, “According to the research results jointly carried out by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers and the State Information Center, the comprehensive lifting of the ban in terms of policy, the Chinese pickup truck market will reach 800,000 in 2025, and it will reach a million-level by 2030. sales volume.”

In order to promote the development of the pickup truck industry, Great Wall Motors took the lead, and with the approval of the association, the pickup truck branch of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers was officially established on October 27.

In addition to the policy, pickups are also getting rid of the identity of “tool carts” and developing in a diversified direction.

“Pickup trucks have developed from pure tool attributes to tool + passenger attributes 10 years ago, and the usage scenarios are becoming more and more refined.” Li Jinghao, director of the customer research and development center of the marketing company of the pickup truck division of Foton Motor Group, told Caijing Automobile (ID: caijingqiche ), at present, mid-to-high-end pickups are becoming more and more popular. The market share of pickups with more than 100,000 yuan has increased from 14% in 2018 to more than 50% now, and the appearance/interior is becoming more and more similar to passenger cars.

01 More than 80% of cities have lifted the ban on pickups

▲ Image source: IC

Sorting out the relevant policies for pickup trucks entering the city in recent years, 2016 and 2022 are two key years.

On February 26, 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Public Security jointly issued the “Notice on Launching the Pilot Program of Relaxing the Restriction of Pickup Trucks Entering the City to Promote Pickup Truck Consumption”, and decided to relax the importation of pickup trucks in four provinces including Hebei, Liaoning, Henan and Yunnan. The city limits the pilot work, and it is determined that the pilot evaluation work will be basically completed by mid-2017. At the end of the same year, Hubei and Xinjiang also joined the pilot program of lifting the ban on pickup trucks in cities. This opened the prelude to the lifting of the pickup truck.

Policy guidelines also affected sales. According to the data provided by China Pickup.com, in 2016, the pickup truck sales in Yunnan Province, where the pickup truck ban was lifted in the four provinces, increased by 27.3%, Hebei Province increased by 4.7%, Henan Province increased by 14.8%, and Liaoning Province increased by 15.4%.

In April 2022, the State Council issued a document for the first time, proposing to “implement refined management of pickup trucks entering cities, and study to further relax restrictions on pickup trucks entering cities.” So far, the protagonists of driving pickup trucks into the city are no longer only national ministries.

In May, the State Council issued the “Notice of the State Council on a Package of Policies and Measures to Consolidate and Stabilize the Economy”, again proposing to “implement refined management of pickup trucks entering cities, and study to further relax restrictions on pickup trucks entering cities”.

The Ministry of Public Security subsequently formulated more detailed measures. On August 17, the Ministry of Public Security proposed to “further relax the traffic restrictions on urban road trucks”, “no longer subdivide the restricted tonnage for trucks under 4.5 tons”, “encourage no restrictions on new energy light vans and enclosed trucks”, and “optimize motor vehicles”. Inspection system” and many other subdivision measures.

It is worth mentioning that the identity of the pickup is defined by a standard, which provides a basis for promoting the pickup into the city. . On May 1, 2022, the “General Technical Conditions for Multi-purpose Trucks” was officially implemented. This is the first standardized standard document for the pickup truck industry in my country, which means that the identity of the pickup truck has changed from the original truck to a multi-purpose truck. “This makes the full lifting of the ban on pickup trucks a reality, and the impact on pickup customers and the industry is very obvious. For example, recently we have seen that the scope of lifting the ban on pickup trucks is rapidly expanding.” Li Jinghao said.

According to incomplete statistics from Caijingqiche (ID: caijingqiche), recently, the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta have lifted the ban on pickup trucks on a large scale. Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Yangzhou, Suzhou, Changzhou, Wenzhou, Taizhou and other cities, as well as Anhui Province 16 cities have issued documents to lift the restrictions on pickup trucks entering the city, and the territory of pickup trucks across the country has continued to expand. According to data provided by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, as of October 15, 286 cities (337 cities above the prefecture level) have been lifted from the ban, and the number of cities currently lifted accounts for 85.12%.

In Li Shaohua’s view, this wave of lifting the ban can be summed up in the following characteristics: First, the degree of lifting the ban is thorough. Most cities manage pickup trucks as passenger cars, with the same road rights as passenger cars; The lifting of the ban has been developed into a piece, such as the lifting of the ban in the whole province of Anhui Province. Third, the city level of the lifting of the ban has been improved. This round of lifting of the ban includes Shenzhen, Nanjing, Xi’an and other major cities.

In addition to promoting automobile consumption, expanding domestic demand and exports, what benefits will the pickup of the pickup truck be?

“Promoting the lifting of the pickup truck ban is a beneficial attempt to improve the urban logistics vehicle system and promote the compliance of urban logistics vehicles.” Li Shaohua believes that there are many chaos in the current urban logistics vehicles, and non-compliance and insecurity have become common phenomena. , mixed passenger and cargo and low-end urban logistics vehicles are shifting to pickup trucks, and pickup trucks have become an important legal and compliant model in the field of urban logistics.” In addition, the lifting of the ban on pickup trucks will also help urban-rural integration. Infiltrating into the village downwards and breaking through the city upwards, the pickup truck forms a smooth pattern of “village-county-city”.

02 Niche pickups are getting rid of tool trucks and realizing high-end

“For a long time, pickup trucks have been labeled as trucks in China, so they have been subject to many restrictions, and their penetration rate is far lower than the global average of 7%. Under multiple pressures, pickup trucks have become a niche and popular domestically. ‘Suppressed’ models,” said Li Weili, secretary general of the pickup truck branch of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Pickup trucks do not have a large market share in China, accounting for about 2 percent of total vehicle sales for the year. According to data from the China Automobile Association, in 2021, China’s auto sales (including commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles) will be 26.275 million units, and pickup truck sales will reach 554,000 units. Among them, the sales volume of diesel pickup trucks was 422,000 units (accounting for 76.17% of the total), and the sales volume of gasoline pickup trucks was 130,000 units (accounting for 23.47% of the total).

According to the brand, the sales volume of Great Wall Motors pickups reached 233,000 units, ranking first. Jiangling Motors subsequently sold 67,000 units. According to the official website of Great Wall, the current models of Great Wall pickups on sale include King Kong Cannon, Great Wall Cannon commercial pickup, Great Wall Cannon passenger pickup, Great Wall Cannon off-road pickup, Artillery, Fengjun 5, and Fengjun 7. At the same time, combined with different vehicle usage scenarios, the Great Wall locomotive guns, black bullets, etc. have been improved by the co-creation mode.

▲ Image source: IC

Li Shaohua summed up four characteristics of the current domestic pickup truck market to Caijing Automobile (ID: caijingqiche).

1. The main body of pickup truck supply and the supply models have increased rapidly, and new entrants and proposed entrants have increased. “Pickup trucks are the next blue ocean. At present, both incumbents and new entrants in the industry are making arrangements one after another. After the lifting of the pickup truck ban, a number of passenger car/commercial vehicle companies ‘cross-border’ joined the pickup truck market, and industry competition has intensified.”

2. Pickup products are fully high-end and passenger-oriented, entering the era of pickup 3.0. Taking the Great Wall Cannon as an example, since its launch in 2019, it has formed a complete product group based on the three categories of commercial/passenger/off-road, and at the same time extended scene-based products with multiple elements such as modification, locomotive, and travel.

Li Jinghao also agrees with the above point of view. The data provided to Caijingqiche (ID: caijingqiche) shows that the proportion of pickup trucks with more than 100,000 in China has increased from 14% in 2018 to more than 50% now, and the proportion of automatic transmission models has also increased from Less than 5%, and closer to 30% this year.

3. The shaping of the current pickup culture is mainly based on off-road and passenger use. “But the real experience and feeling of life is very lacking, and more is marked with the label of ‘lifestyle’. Therefore, it is impossible to form a relationship between users and brands. Real connection. The local pickup culture in China still needs to be cultivated continuously.”

Fourth, pickup trucks are still the models with the lowest penetration rate of new energy in the light commercial vehicle market, and the current audience is relatively small.

Li Weili believes that under the background of the “dual carbon” strategy, new energy vehicles are already a trend that cannot be ignored, but the path of new energy for pickups is not clear, and there is no consensus in the industry. .

At present, domestic mainstream pickup companies have successively launched pure electric versions of pickups, such as Zhengzhou Nissan, Great Wall, and Jiangling. In 2019 and 2020, Great Wall Motors launched the Fengjun series electric pickup trucks and the Gun series electric pickup trucks, realizing the electrification of the full range of pickup trucks. However, unlike the passenger car market, the current pickup truck new energy models are mainly concentrated in the industry procurement.

In Li Shaohua’s view, the arrival of pickup trucks in cities is only the first step to promote consumption, and the follow-up restrictive policies should also be improved accordingly. “From the perspective of consumers, due to the nature of trucks, pickup trucks must be inspected every year, and they cannot enjoy high-speed free shipping on holidays. . This has affected the consumption of pickup trucks to a certain extent. Therefore, measures such as annual inspection and mandatory scrapping will be the focus of future adjustments.”

Li Jinghao believes that as the customer base of pickup trucks becomes more and more diverse, the relevant technical standards for pickup trucks are further implemented, and pickup trucks will be further improved in many aspects such as lifting the ban, right of way, scrapping, and annual inspection. getting closer.”

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Editor in charge | Zhao Cheng

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