By Zach Bowman
Posted Nov 12th 2012 4:30PM
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has plenty of fans all around the world, but the desert-beating pickup is perhaps most popular where it can't be had at all: in China. The Detroit News reports gray market buyers in the Asian country are snapping up the trucks at the equivalent of $160,000, or nearly three times the MSRP here in the States. Analysts credit the boom to shifting consumer perceptions. Chinese buyers have typically view pickups as utilitarian tools instead of lifestyle purchases, but that's changing. The Detroit News reports buyers in China are showing more interest in specialty vehicles like the SVT Raptor.
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 from their lofty heights. China has no laws against importing vehicles, though prohibitive taxes discourage all but the nation's wealthiest individuals from shipping in foreign models.