BEIJING – Sales of heavy-duty trucks in China increased 16 percent to 32,000 units in February, and ended the 18-month sales decline that began in August 2014.
Six out of the top 10 heavy-duty truck makers witnessed sales increases while the other four experienced drops. FAW sold 5,700 units in February, up 70 percent and maintained its leading position in January. Dongfeng sold 5,500 units, down 1 percent on a yearly basis. CNHTC also saw minor decrease of 8 percent to 5,400 units. Shaanxi Auto and Beiqi-Foton sold 4,400 units respectively, up 19 and 23 percent year-on-year.
JAC sold 2,700 Gallop heavy-duty trucks in February, up 20 percent. Sales of Dayun and SAIC-IVECO-Hongyan jumped 50 and 76 percent to 1,058 and 707 units. Hualing and Beiben, on the other hand, saw sales decline of 39 and 28 percent to 488 and 520 units.
Sales in the first two months of this year increased 2 percent to 68,900 units with half enterprises up and the other half down in sales. FAW sold 13,200 units through to February, up 71 percent, taking up a market share of 19.2 percent. Dongfeng sold 13,000 units, down 15 percent, with a market share of 18.8 percent. CNHTC took a market share of 16.7 percent by delivering 11,500 units, down 17 percent.
Shaanxi Auto and Beiqi-Foton were still neck-to-neck by selling 9,329 and 9,246 units, up 18 and 3 percent respectively. JAC saw sales decline of 10 percent to 5,023 units in the first two months, taking up 7.3 percent of the market share. Dayun and SAIC-IVECO-Hongyan sold 2,184 and 1,517 units in the first two months, up 33 and 26 percent with a respect market share of 3.2 and 2.2 percent. Sales of Hualing and Beiben dropped 56 and 54 percent to 1,033 and 713 units, taking up a market share of 1.5 and 1 percent.
According to industry analysts of cvworld.cn, March sales are likely to increase again because of the low sales volume of 67,699 units in March 2015.
Truck dealers in certain regions reflected that purchase demand, especially the logistics trucks demand, is rebounding thanks to the traditional hot season after the Chinese Spring Festival. Moreover, real estate prices in tier-1 and tier-2 cities have soared since February with 61 out of the 100 cities witnessing price increases, according to the statistics of the China Index Academy. Industry insiders believe that the loosening financial policy such as credit easing is pushing up the recovery of the real estate market. The central bank announced its intention to lower reserve requirements for banks on February 29, which would further benefit the warm up of the real estate market, especially that of the tier-2 cities. The follow-up de-inventory of real estate industry and new project investment will promote the demand for heavy-duty trucks as well.
Meanwhile, the domestic non-manufacturing business expectation index rose to 59.5 percent in February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The expectation index of the construction industry increased 7.6 percent to 66.3 percent, indicating a large rebound potential in the next few months, which would lead to more demand of heavy-duty trucks, and make a positive increase possible for the first half of the year.