China’s heavy truck sales drop to 15,8000 units in May, down by 12pc from a year ago and down by 18pc from April, according to data by First Commercial Vehicle Network. For the first time this year, China reported a decline in sales due to low demand and high inventory at dealers.
In the first five months of 2021, the cumulative sales volume of the heavy truck industry rose to 883,000, up by 37pc from the prior year period, while the cumulative growth rate has narrowed further. Lower sales in May end the 13 consecutive months streak of higher heavy truck sales in China.
In the recent past, the attractive growth of China’s heavy truck market caught the eyeball of major automakers Scania and Mercedes-Benz, which formed joint ventures with local companies, even big domestic carmakers like Great Wall Motors enter the fray through mergers and acquisitions.
From 2017 to 2020, annual heavy truck sales volume was above 1.1mn units, according to China Automobile Association’s data. This year also sales are expected to exceed 1.1mn units.
The decline in sales volume started in April with heavy truck sales up by only 1pc last month. The effects of environmental protection and production cuts and slow growth of the logistics sector are factors that weighed down truck sales. Also, high inventory of heavy trucks at dealers due to disruption caused by the National VI policies reduced sales along with the fact that many provinces and cities including Shanghai, Tianjin, Shandong, Nanjing, Henan authorities have postponed registration of new vehicles.