Chinese Trucks shhowing lots of growth in China
By Si Kang
China Automobile Industry Association's latest statistics showed that the sale volume of trucks had increased from a growth rate of 15.45 percent in 2006 to 21.12 percent in the first quarter in 2007. Moreover, the truck sale was succeeded in whole line, which contains the segment truck markets in heavy trucks, medium trucks, light trucks, mini trucks, vans, incomplete vehicles and semi-trailer tractors. The sale volume went up by more than 22 percent in the segment truck markets of heavy type, medium type, light type and mini type while the sale volume rose a little in the light truck market. Especially, the heavy truck sales soared by 59.67 percent year on year, unfolding a "well blowout" in the truck market. Then what led to the significant jump in the truck market?
The reporter held that it owed to some reasons as below: firstly, strongly sustainable increase momentum of China's macro-economy; secondly, it is the second year of the Eleventh Five-Year Program in 2007. Such automobile markets like markets for construction and transportation kept their stable growth; thirdly, the Government gave priority to new rural construction, development of science, education, culture and sanitation, social security, energy saving, ecological construction, environment protection and the Development of Western China as well as the comprehensively open policy for domestic financial community, which stimulated consumers' demands in truck market; finally, the Policy of Count Weight and Charge was put forward to be in effect in the first quarter and China ?��ission Regulation will be carried out later, which stimulated consumers' demands for medium and heavy trucks and promoted the "well blowout" in the truck market.
Statistics showed that there appeared a "blowout" in the heavy truck market with a growth rate of 59.67 percent during the first quarter. Such a market profited from the respective higher growth margins of 42.80 percent in ordinary truck market and 28.41 percent in incomplete vehicle market, but it profited mainly from the sharp growth margin of 132.09 percent in the semi-trailer tractor market. Among highway transport vehicles, the transportation efficiency of semi-trailer tractors is several tenths higher than that of ordinary trucks while the oil consumption of semi-trailer tractors is quite much lower; the weight of a semi-trailer tractor is 1 to 3 tons lighter than an ordinary truck with the same size, which means a semi-trailer tractor can be loaded with 1 to 3 tons more goods than an ordinary truck.
Undoubtedly, the implementation of such a policy as weight-based toll charges has directly stimulated the demands for semi-trailer tractors in the market to increase by a large margin.
The medium-sized truck market also embraced a hot sale. The sales volume in the medium-sized truck market increased by 22.07 percent in the first quarter, and such a growth rate is a new record in the recent 6 years. Such a great growth margin in the medium-sized truck market was largely attributed to the boosting effect of China III Emission Regulation to be implemented. This regulation will be carried out on July 1, so most domestic enterprises sold their medium-sized trucks at a low price at the end of the first half of 2007; thus, a rapid growth for demands for medium-sized trucks in the market has been resulted in.
As far as subdivided markets for various trucks are concerned, the growth rate for the sales volume of light trucks, which only amounted to 8.61 percent, is the lowest. It is far lower than the overall growth rate of 21.12 percent. The China III Emission Regulation had been put into practice in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou since last year, which had great impact on the distribution of those light truck brands that can only meet the requirements of China I-II Emission Regulation in the market during the first quarter this year. It was reported that in general, non-mainstream manufacturers of light trucks had run into troubles in terms of the distribution of their products but such brands as IVECO of Nanjing Automobile??Group?? Corporation, Shuailing of Jianghuai Automobile Company, Ollin Chaoyue of Futon Motor Co., Ltd and ISUZU 600P of Qingling Motor (Group) Co, Ltd. were excluded. In addition, given that such raw materials as iron ore and steel materials appreciated, the profit margins for downstream manufacturing had been squeezed continually; the light truck industry, which did not harvest abundant profits, became faced with enormous pressures due to costs. Many brands had to raise the prices of their light truck products, which affected the demands in the light truck market as a whole.
The performance of mini trucks was quite eye-catching. The growth rate in the mini truck market reached 29.57 percent, exceeding the annual growth rate of 24.72 percent in 2006. With a view on the mini truck market, mini trucks have accelerated their paces to replace agricultural vehicles as China's rural investment increased more quickly in the first quarter and the rural economy continued to heat up. Meanwhile, along with the process and technology of mini trucks gradually moved closer to those for light trucks, the safety, comfort, reliability, economic and load capacity of mini trucks increased significantly, thus some light trucks with a low tonnage have been replaced. Also, various mini truck manufacturers transferred service systems of heavy and light trucks into the field of mini trucks, thus enhancing the service level for mini trucks greatly. Finally, the full implementation of China's policy on allowing mini trucks to operate in cities also played a positive role in the distribution of mini trucks. Subject to the above factors, mini trucks remained to be one of the hot cakes in the short-haul transport market in big cities and in the market at the metropolitan fringe during the first quarter.