BEIJING – China sold only 39,000 units in January and fell a sharp 24 percent on a yearly basis and 31 percent month-on-month, according to a recent report of cvworld.cn.
The newly inaugurated Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd. (DFCV) kept sales growth of 10 percent to 10,000 units, remaining as the only major truck maker that posted growth in sales. China National Heavy-Duty Truck Group Corp. (CNHTC) and FAW Jiefang Automobile Co., Ltd., on the other hand, experienced sales declines of 22 and 44 percent to 7,200 and 5,100 units. Beiqi-Foton Motor Co., Ltd. and Shaanxi Heavy-Duty Truck Co., Ltd. (Shacman) saw further sales slumps of 35 and 48 percent to 4,900 and 2,800 units respectively.
Sales of Jianghuai Automobile Co., Ltd. (JAC) totaled 2,800 units in January, a drop of 14 percent on a yearly basis. SAIC-IVECO-Hongyan Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd., Hualing Xingma Automobile (Group) Co., Ltd. (CAMC Hualing), and Beiben Heavy-Duty Truck Co., Ltd. also registered sales drops of 55, 6 and 5 percent to 808, 1,540 and 1,000 units.
The most direct reason for the sales decline is the weak macro economy. According to official statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the PMI index of China manufacturing industry was 50.1 percent in December 2014 and 49.8 percent in January 2015, dropping below the decisive 50 percent line again. The PMI index started to go down in August 2014 from 51.7 percent in July 2014 to the current 49.8 percent, revealing the grim economic situation of insufficient domestic demand, shrinking production and constant de-stocking.
A weak macro economy plus structural economic changes strongly hit the heavy-duty truck market and led to low end-user demand. The prospects of the 2015 heavy-duty truck industry thus remain grim.