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Foreign heavy-duty truck heavyweights shun Auto China 2014

All foreign heavy-duty truck makers, except Hyundai Motor, are absent from this year’s largest industry trade show, Auto China 2014, in Beijing. Domestic heavy-duty truck makers such as CNHTC, Shaanxi Auto and C&C Trucks also avoid the show.

These truck makers give different reasons for their absence. For example, an executive of IVECO said that the company had spent too much time and efforts in preparation for the launch of the Stralis Hi-Way in Shenzhen on April 10 and had no time to prepare for the Beijing Auto Show. Daimler Trucks held its 2014 Mercedes-Benz Truck Brand Grand Ceremony in Tianjin on April 18, in lieu of the auto show.

Scania and Volvo Trucks are busy with their fuel-saving competitions. Although JAC is exhibiting at the show, the Gallop heavy-duty truck as well as the company’s American partner Navistar do not show up at the event.

The deeper reasons can be attributed to the layout of commercial vehicle manufacturers at Beijing Auto Show and the truck market demand of Beijing and surrounding areas. Most commercial vehicle booths at Beijing and Shanghai auto shows are located outdoors, which tend to be affected by the weather. For example, many press conferences of heavy-duty truck makers at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show were ruined by rain.

Second, different from the Shanghai Auto Show, which display commercial vehicles between exhibition halls, the commercial vehicle exhibition ground at the Beijing Auto Show is far from the main attraction of passenger vehicle exhibition halls, which largely affects exhibition effect.

China’s heavy-duty truck market saw large growth in 2013 and in Q1 2014, so the reason of the absence is not lack of money but lack of confidence to publicity effect of Beijing Auto Show, which is more focused on passenger vehicles.

Although Beijing, Tianjin and surrounding areas such as Hebei Province have large demand in truck transportation, most truck users, especially executives of large logistics companies, have not widely accepted the high-efficiency transportation concept of imported trucks, which is different from their counterparts in southeast coastal areas in the country. Beijing buyers tend to purchase domestic brands such as Dongfeng and Foton. In this case, multinational truck makers prefer the annual Guangzhou Auto Show held every November.

It is possible that commercial vehicle makers will spurn the Beijing Auto Show altogether in the future. A commercial vehicle only show such as the biannual IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, Germany could appear soon in China. The arising Wuhan Commercial Vehicles Show and the Guangzhou Auto Show are strong candidates.                                                                             

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