Both Zhejiang Geely Holding and a General Motors joint venture in China plan to launch their first pickup truck models, targeting Great Wall Motor which is well established in the segment, media reports said.

According to Reuters, Geely revealed its first truck recently at a company event publicised on social media while official documents seen by the news agency showed a GM joint venture requesting regulatory approval to build its first pickup.

Pickups dominate or top segment sales in such markets as the US, Australia and New Zealand but, according to Reuters, pickup trucks are are sub-2% niche market in China.

Local governments easing restrictions on their entry into urban areas may spur sales, the report said.

The report said the joint venture between GM, state-owned SAIC Motor and Guangxi Automobile Group was seeking government approval to build its first pickup truck model called Zhengtu.

Geely, separately was building a vehicle plant with capacity for 100,000 vehicles, including pickup trucks, in the eastern city of Zibo, Reuters said, citing construction bidding documents on a company website.

Geely and GM representatives declined to comment further to Reuters.

Cui Dongshu, secretary general at China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), said: "There is still a lack of demand for pickup trucks from normal Chinese customers. They are more familiar with SUVs and sedans."