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The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has plenty of fans all around the world, but the pickup is perhaps most popular in China; a rarity in that country where well-heeled customers customers are paying big bucks for it.
The Detroit News reports gray market buyers there are snapping up the trucks at the equivalent of $160,000, or nearly three times the MSRP in North America.
Analysts credit the boom to rising interest in specialty vehicles, particularly among China’s wealthy. Chinese buyers have typically view pickups as utilitarian tools instead of lifestyle purchases, but that’s changing.
Vehicles like those from General Motors’ Hummer family laid the groundwork ten years ago, and when the Raptor bowed in 2010, Chinese enthusiasm for the truck exploded on the internet. Importers are so keen to demand for the pickups that they’ve imported too many – prices are just now beginning to fall.
China has no laws against importing vehicles, though prohibitive taxes discourage all but the nation’s wealthiest individuals from shipping in foreign models.