In Libya where it holds close to half of the local pickup truck market, Zhongxing Auto (ZXAuto) is trying to turn a loss into a gain. While initially depressed by the disruptions in shipping and canceling of orders, it is now delighted by the frequent exposure of its low-cost trucks that have been turned into mobile fighting machines in the desert country.
In breaking Toyota’s dominance in supplying the rebels with their favorite vehicles, Zhongxing sees a great opportunity to achieve distinction, to show the GrandTiger, its most most popular model, could really be as tough as its name suggests. Thus the company posted a media story on its official Chinese website which says: "Models will stand out after the baptism of war that prove reliable, endurable, and easy to maintain… No longer uniformly Toyota, the pickups employed in the Libyan war mostly came from Zhongxing. Quietly Chinese-made cars have taken foreign markets. This may be an expert’s casual remark but the Libyan civil war could really help build a name for Zhongxing pickups" (click here for the post in Chinese).
In 2009 alone, Zhongxing delivered at least 6,000 GrantTigers to Libya, which amount to nearly 1/6 of its global sales in that year ( at 38,500).