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Booming market attracts new comers to the heavy-duty truck industry

Growing demand in China’s heavy-duty market resulted in impressive sales numbers in 2009. As the market seems increasingly appealing, more automakers traditionally specializing in other sectors of the automobile industry were attracted by new revenue opportunities and have launched product lines to compete for a share of the heavy-duty market.

 

Chery’s heavy-duty trucks will be on the market by the end of this year

On January 22, Chery Automobile Co., China’s leading homegrown carmaker, began a series of cold resistance tests on its newly developed heavy-duty trucks. The test, which was carried out in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province, is a sign that Chery’s first heavy-duty trucks are one step closer to landing on the market. 

Chery’s heavy-duty project can be dated back to January 2009, when Jirui United Heavy Industry was cooperatively founded by China International Marine Containers Group (CIMC), Chery Automobile, through Wuhu Tairui Investment Co., Ltd., and Shenzhen Jiusi Investment Management. The cooperation granted Chery access to CIMC’s production license for heavy-duty trucks. On June 23, pictures of CIMC-Chery’s heavy-duty truck models were revealed for the first time, with a new shield-shaped logo and a C&C (Chery and CIMC) label.

 

Chery’s heavy-duty truck with its new label

In November 2009, Chery’s trucks were spotted on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’ website, among other newly approved vehicle models. A month later, China Yuchai International announced that its main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery (Guangxi Yuchai), had signed a framework agreement with CIMC-Chery, to form a JV that would manufacture heavy-duty vehicle engines with a displacement range from 10.5 to 14 liters. According to a media report, Guangxi Yuchai’s recently-developed engine model YC6K will be added to CIMC-Chery’s heavy-duty trucks. 

During a recent interview, Jin Yibo, Chery’s spokesperson, said that Chery’s first heavy-duty truck, manufactured jointly with CIMC, would be on the market by the end of 2010. He also expressed confidence in the company’s heavy-duty product line.  He added, “Our truck products have a promising market as CIMC itself will be a big customer.”

 

GAC-Hino’s 700 series competes for mid- to high-end market

GAC-Hino Motors rolled its heavy-duty trucks off the assembly line on September 21, 2009. The Sino-Japanese company’s heavy-duty truck Hino 700 series has officially entered the commercial vehicle market. 

GAC-Hino’s factory in Conghua of Guangzhou has an annual production capacity of 20,000 units of heavy-duty trucks and 30,000 units of light trucks. The original Hino 700 series trucks were redesigned with more home-produced components and parts, in order to lower their cost. Equipped with Hino’s 11L and 13L engines, GAC-Hino’s 700 series currently has eight models and 23 variants, including tractors, concrete mixers and pump truck chassis. The joint venture’s products are priced from ¥340,000 to ¥604,000 ($50,000-$88,824), 30 percent cheaper than imported models. With Hino’s reputation in the industry and a competitive price-performance ratio, the 700 series is expected to quickly find a place in the mid- to high-end market in China.

 

Hino 700 in the Guangzhou auto show in 2008

Guangzhou Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) and Hino Motors formed their heavy-duty joint venture in 2007, when GAC’s negotiations with Hyundai were ceased due to high level changes at the Korean automaker. The Sino-Japanese JV project includes the establishment of a heavy-duty truck production center in Guangzhou, and the reformation of Shenfei Hino’s factory, which manufactures large and medium buses, in Shenyang. GAC-Hino is the first heavy-duty truckmaker based in Guangdong Province. A day after introducing its Hino 700 series in Guangzhou, the company held a launching ceremony for Hino buses in Shenyang.

 

Dayun targets on the local market

Dayun Auto in Shanxi Province announced the production of its heavy-duty truck series on October 26, 2009. Dayu’s heavy-duty trucks are equipped with Shandong Weichai’s WP10 engines, Shaanxi Fast Gear’s RT-11509C gearboxes, and Shaanxi Hande’s axles. Dayu’s heavy-duty truck series currently has four product lines including lorry trucks, dumper trucks, special-purpose vehicles and tractors, with an annual production at 50,000 units. 

 

Dayun heavy-duty truck model

Dayun Auto’s interest in heavy-duty trucks developed from the market volume of its hometown. Shanxi is best known for coal mines and other natural resources mines. With around 40,000 new heavy-duty trucks registered annually, the province is a crucial market for truck manufacturers. Dayun Auto, backed by the Shanxi provincial government, is expected to exploit this geographical advantage and compete for a share of the local market as its first foray into the heavy-duty industry.

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