Ford’s off-road SVT Raptor has seen an unusual increase in demand among Chinese customers, where the automaker doesn’t even sell the model.

Chinese buyers are paying four times the US sticker price to get a SVT Raptor, which impresses with its heavy-duty skid plates, aggressive styling and powerful 6.2-liter V-8. In the US the model starts at $43,340, and in China it can reach to $160,000, or 1 million yuan. Entrepreneurs take advantage of this new craze and bring more SVT Raptors into the country. Currently supply is surpassing demand, therefore the price starts to decline.

“Unlike in the U.S., the pickup is hardly associated with a symbol of lifestyle in China. Instead, it is mostly used for utility purposes (transporting goods),” said Lin Huaibin, IHS Automotive China light-vehicle forecast manager.

Demand for specialty vehicles continues to increase in China and Michael Dunne, an expert on the Chinese auto industry, expects these vehicles to comprise a few hundred thousand units annually. He compares this new trend with the SVT Raptor with the Chinese fascination for the Hummer 10 years ago.

“When the Ford Raptor arrived in 2010, the Chinese Internet went completely crazy, that was the monster they wanted, and the first cars arrived on Chinese shores in early 2011,” said CarNewsChina’s Tycho de Feyter.


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