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Monday, April 5, 2021

Should Chevrolet PH Bring in This P434k Pickup Truck?

The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) says 2021 will all be about the reinvention of the Chevrolet brand. Despite the closure of the brand’s assembly plant in Thailand, the official Philippine distributor of Chevrolet says they’re bringing in five all-new models this year.

Three of those new models have already been confirmed: the all-new Tahoe, all-new Suburban, and the all-new mid-engined Corvette. But what about the other two? Well, they could certainly look at GM’s huge presence in China where they’ve launched this rather peculiar pickup truck called the Zhengtu.

Built by SAIC, the Zhengtu is Wuling’s first-ever pickup truck. To the uninitiated, Wuling is a Chinese domestic brand—a partnership between SAIC and GM.

The Zhengtu sure does look unwieldly, but that’s because its design is dictated more by practicality than aesthetics. It measures in at 5,105 mm long and 1,810 mm high. The bed itself is two meters long, but thanks to its 3,160 mm wheelbase, it maintains a dual-cab configuration enough to seat five people. It is lanky though at just 1,640 mm in width.

Despite looking more like a small van with the rear part chopped off, Wuling says they’ve done some real engineering to reinforce the Zhengtu. Four internal reinforcement beams increase the strength of the sides by 20 percent, while the bedsides also fold down making loading and unloading very convenient.

Believe it or not, GM says the Zhengtu is geared towards younger customers—those who live an active lifestyle. With that, it’s got an 8-inch infotainment system with touchscreen or voice-activated controls. It also meets the brand’s NVH requirements for passenger cars.

Powering the Zhengtu is a 1.5-liter gasoline engine making 99 horsepower. Its safety features are basic, limited to just antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution.

Being a Wuling, the Zhengtu is priced very cheap. Prices start at RMB 58,800 (P 434,600) and tops out at RMB 62,800 (P 464,200). Of course, if TCCCI does bring this here, don’t expect it to compete against the likes of the Ranger or Hilux. Instead, it could be an alternative to other micro trucks such as the Foton TM300 and the Suzuki Carry.

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