1. HDT sales worst since 2009
Heavy-duty truck sales fell 27 percent to 546,800 units, nearly 200,000 units less than 2014. Behind the gloomy heavy-duty truck market was the downturn of the macro economy, especially the real economy. With both employment and small enterprise PMI indices remain lower than the 50 percent threshold, the 2016 macro economy will still face difficulties and challenges and sales are expected to fall further.
2. GB1589-2012 exposure draft released
The MIIT released the exposure draft of the GB1589-2012 Road Vehicle Dimension, Axle Load and Weight Limit on July 6. The exposure draft revised the limits of dimensions, axle load and masses for motor vehicles, trailers and combination vehicles based on the GB1589-2004 edition and set a weight limit of no more than 49 tons for the combination of the vehicle and the cargos it carries. The standards are estimated to be enforced in the second half of 2016 and will bring large effects to the heavy-duty truck products structure and the logistics transportation market.
3. Chinese brands showcase cutting-edge products in V-Day Parade
Major Chinese truck manufacturers such as Dongfeng, FAW Jiefang, Shaanxi Auto, CNHTC, Beiben and leading bus makers King Long and Ankai provided cutting-edge products to guarantee the transportation of sophisticated weapons during the Victory-Day Military Parade on September 3 in Beijing. The vehicles served as transportation equipment of tactical missiles and strategic nuclear missiles, floats, guided vehicles, chassis of radar trailers and communication trucks as well as off-road vehicles. Some of the vehicles were tailor-made for the parade, some were deployed from other service locations, and the country witnessed the debut of FAW Jiefang’s MV3 truck. All vehicles had high quality and reliable performance and reflected the importance of Chinese brands to the country’s military.
4. China suspends refitting fuel vehicles into natural gas ones
According to AQSIQ, China’s product quality watchdog, all parties may no longer refit fuel vehicles into natural gas ones upon the publication of the Guidance on Safety Management of Motor Vehicle “Fuel to Natural Gas” (Exposure Draft). Local governments should confirm the transitional usage period for existing refitted vehicles and prohibit all refitted vehicles from hitting the road after the transitional period. Safety and technology tests are compulsory for refitted vehicles and those that do not pass the test would not be allowed to go into operation. Illegal refitting activity will be severely punished. Local governments are obliged to establish sufficient natural gas stations for legal natural gas vehicles.
5. Natural gas truck sales plummet due to oil price drop
Sales and output of natural gas heavy-duty trucks continued to fall with sales down 70 percent to around 15,000 units.
The sluggish macro economy dragged down the whole commercial vehicle industry. Heavy-duty truck and bus markets have been heavily hit and so have related LNG products. Falling oil prices is the direct factor depressing the natural gas commercial vehicle market. Natural gas prices were on a par with oil prices or were even cheaper in some districts. The continuous decline of domestic oil prices since last year offset cost advantages of natural gas buses in the short run. The central government’s preferential policy on EVs also negatively affected to the natural gas vehicle market.
6. Quick delivery logistics highlight of the downturn
The State Council released the Opinions on the Promotion of Quick Delivery Industry in October to stimulate quick delivery enterprises to develop cross boarder e-commerce quick delivery business, build international express mail center in key harbor cities and establish overseas warehouses. The compound growth of quick delivery logistics is 25 percent annually, much higher than the overall 10 percent growth of the logistics industry. The shipment quantity in China totaled 18-20 billion items in 2015 with quick delivery revenue totaling ¥250-¥270 billion ($38-$41 billion).
7. Beijing enforces State-V emissions standards for diesel engine trucks
Beijing began to enforce the State-V emissions standards for diesel engine heavy-duty trucks on June 1.
The announcement also required newly added diesel engine heavy-duty vehicles, including public transport buses, sanitary trucks, tour buses, post vehicles, slag trucks, commute buses, school buses, and airport shuttle buses to be equipped with Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) starting from January 1, 2016.
8. Internet+ bus market experiences tremendous development
Internet+ bus market is experiencing tremendous development as Didi bus, Dada bus, Pickme bus and Pig bus are launched into operation across China. China currently owns 10 internet+ bus providers. For example, Didi bus is the latest bus service under Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest mobile-based app platform. It was launched into operation on July 16 in Beijing and Shenzhen. Riders can reserve a seat via a public Wechat account “Didi Bus.” Busge is an internet+ bus service provider and went online in February. UBUS, an intelligent transportation project, was officially launched into operation on September 16.
9. DFG completes transaction of 45 percent stake in DFCV to AB Volvo
Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. (DFG) completed the transaction of 45 percent stake it had in its subsidiary, Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd. (DFCV), to AB Volvo on January 5. The transaction was valued at ¥5.5 billion ($887 million).
DFG and AB Volvo held an inauguration ceremony in Shiyan, Hubei Province on January 26 to celebrate the establishment of the new DFCV. The two companies signed a strategic cooperation agreement exactly two years earlier to establish the joint venture based on the former wholly-owned medium- and heavy-duty truck subsidiary of DFG. The inauguration of the DFCV marks the start of an international journey for Dongfeng brand heavy-duty vehicles.
10. Yutong tests first self-driving bus worldwide
A self-driving large bus of Yutong Bus Co., Ltd. completed a 32.6 km test run without human interference from Zhengzhou to Kaifeng in Henan Province on August 29.
The bus passed 26 traffic lights in a complete open road condition and finished a series of tests including car-following, automatic lane change, overtaking, traffic lights automatic identification and fixed point parking with a maximum speed of 68 km/h.
The large bus was developed by Yutong Bus and institutions such as the General Staff Department (GSD) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Yutong invested millions of RMB during three years of research period, according to the company.