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GM’s $9,000 Pickup

Even the cheapest trucks in North America set you back more than $25,000.

For years, automakers have increased their focus on trucks and SUVs as much for their higher profit margins as the heavy demand from car buyers.

Even the cheapest trucks in the North American market will set you back more than $25,000, and the prices for a leading pickup with all the bells and whistles — say, a Chevrolet Silverado High Country from General Motors — start at more than double that amount. 

An ocean away, however, GM is apparently much more interested in reaching the entry-level truck buyer.

Motor1 reports that Wuling, a joint venture between GM and China’s SAIC Motor, unveiled its debut pickup with an initial price tag of 58,800 Chinese Yuan — or just north of $9,000 American.

Although you’d have to actually go to China to get it, the report suggests that despite the eye-catching price, the Zhengtu offers a relatively large cargo bed — complete with sides that can fold down — a touchscreen interior display, and the noise and vibration levels of a passenger car.

As expected, however, the truck is made more for utility than comfort. The overall vehicle length is shorter — suggesting a much smaller cab — and a 1.5 liter engine offers 99 horsepower. Our Silverado example from earlier, by contrast, comes with a 6.2-liter V8 and 420 horsepower.

For more space, a dual-cab version of the Zhengtu will reportedly set you back the equivalent of about $600 more.

Although the Zhengtu isn’t coming anywhere near the domestic market, those hoping for a less-expensive pickup option stateside could get at least some relief soon: Ford is slated to debut a new small pickup that starts under $20,000.

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