Chinese auto company Kaiyun Motors has set its sights on disrupting the U.S. pickup market with a $5,000 truck, but — even so — you’re unlikely to see Ford and Chrysler shaking in their boots.
Trust me, even if you’re brand loyal, you can feel comfortable welcoming the Pickman into the mix, but not before carving out a niche that no other U.S. automakers are really tackling: ultra-light duty, non-street-legal applications out there like groundskeeping, agriculture, hunting and the like.
Part of the Pickman’s appeal is its price tag. It sells for under $3,000 in China, and is set to hit the U.S. market for the low, low price of $5,000. You really can’t beat that for a truck … that is, unless you want to drive it on real streets and at speeds faster than 28 mph, which is where the Pickman maxes out. Still, it’s got an electric powertrain, with a range of about 75 miles per charge and can tote about 1,100 pounds. And the company says the American version will feature reinforced structures and storage space for guns.
The Pickman comes in several body styles, but the pickup option features a bed that folds down on three sides, making it super easy to access. The front even offers a small trunk to stash things like tools.
Bloomberg has reported that Kaiyun has received regulatory approval to start exporting these bad boys to the U.S., and nobody is more excited than company founder Wang Chao, who said that 2019 would be “the year of the Pickman” — adding that he believes they could be as successful as the F-150.
I mean … go ahead and dream big, Pickman, but don’t be disappointed when you fail miserably. Forbes reported this year that Ford has produced a total of 32 million F-150s and that it sells one, on average, every two minutes.
— by Anna Wells