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Heavy-duty truck sales up 21 percent in December, annual sales reach new record of 1.14 million units

Surprise again! Heavy-duty truck industry maintained its positive growth trend in December with sales reaching 80,000 units, up 21 percent on a yearly basis, according to the latest manufacturer reported data obtained by cvworld.cn

For the unexpected performance of heavy-duty truck market in December, cvworld.cn believes the following factors contributed to the sales growth:

First, due to the completion of yearly sales targets by the end of 2017, a few major heavy-duty truck manufacturers “moved” part of their sales, totaling about 30,000-40,000 units, in December 2017 to the beginning of 2018, which led to a low sales level in December 2017 and gave a chance for a high growth rate in heavy-duty truck sales in December 2018.

Second, natural gas heavy-duty truck sales continued to “gush” since late September due to increased demand for coal transportation trucks in cold season in Q4 2018. The stable prices of LNG and CNG in the domestic market or even lower natural gas prices in some regions demonstrated again the economy of natural gas heavy-duty trucks, so that some customers switched their choice from diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks to natural gas heavy-duty trucks which stimulated sales, especially those of tractors in Q4 2018.

Third, to implement the government plan of Blue Sky Defense, many provinces and regions in the country actively promoted clean fuel and new energy commercial vehicles and carried out policies and measures to eliminate China 3 trucks in the first half of 2018. All this increased procurement of natural gas trucks and stimulated sales of new heavy-duty trucks in December.

Fourth, some heavy-duty truck manufacturers were optimistic about the engineering vehicle market in Q1 2019, so they increased inventory in November and December, which also helped sales rise in the last month of 2018.

With the recovery in November and December, heavy-duty truck market in 2018 had a happy ending with a new sales record.

Based on cvworld.cn calculation, China sold 1.14 million heavy-duty trucks in 2018, a rise of 3 percent from the previous year, hitting an all-time record. This number meant that 2018 became the third year on record with annual heavy-duty truck sales surpassing 1 million units, after 2010 and 2017. The year 2018 also became the second consecutive year in which sales topped 1 million units, following a record 1.12 million units sold in 2017.

For heavy-duty truck manufacturers in 2018, competition became more intensified in ranking and in every key segment as well. Among them, FAW Jiefang sold 261,300 heavy-duty trucks in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent with a market share of 22.8 percent, maintaining its No. 1 position in sales for the third consecutive year since 2016.

Runner-up Dongfeng closed the year with sales of 217,400 units, up 1 percent with a market share of 19 percent. CNHTC ranked third with December sales reaching about 14,000 units and yearly sales reaching 189,100 units, down 1 percent with a market share of 16.5 percent.

Shaanxi Auto stayed in the fourth spot with sales of about 13,000 units in December and 171,500 units in the entire year of 2018, a decrease of 1 percent with a market share of 15 percent. Foton achieved sales of about 8,000 units in December, up 2 percent. Its cumulative sales in 2018 were 110,100 units, down 4 percent with a market share of 9.6 percent, continuing to be the No. 5 player in the industry.

SAIC-IVECO-Hongyan sold 3,800 units in December and 58,000 units in 2018, a year-over-year jump of 85 and 45 percent respectively with a market share of 5.1 percent. JAC ranked seventh with sales of about 1,600 units in December and 40,600 units in the whole year for a market share of 3.5 percent in 2018.

Dayun, at the eighth spot, saw sales rise of 14 percent to 3,006 units in December. It sold 32,281 units in 2018, a growth of 9 percent for a market share of 2.8 percent. CAMC Hualing realized sales of 2,139 units in December and 21,733 units through to December, up 6 and 16 percent respectively on a yearly basis, good for a market share of 1.9 percent. XCMG sold 1,580 units in December, up 79 percent from the same month of 2017. Its yearly sales reached 17,304 units, a year-on-year increase of 34 percent for a market share of 1.5 percent.

Due to the high sales volume in January 2018 (including sales that were “moved” from the end of 2017 to the beginning of 2018), plus the Chinese Spring Festival holiday in 2019 arrives earlier than 2018, logistics industry and heavy-duty truck industry will experience a low season in spring holidays earlier than before, and heavy-duty truck sales in January are expected to see a two-digit number slip (but not a steep decrease).

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