Domestic demand for commercial vehicles in China softened in Q1 '22
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Domestic demand for commercial vehicles in China softened in Q1 ’22

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According to the recent release of ACT Research’s China Commercial Vehicle Outlook, the Chinese commercial vehicle market has been reacting to the domestic and global surges of COVID, long-term pressures of market restructuring and new emissions regulations.

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Domestic demand for heavy trucks fell more than 50% y/y, while the tractor market shrank almost 67% y/y and domestic demand for medium-duty trucks dropped 46% compared to the first quarter of 2021. The weakness continues into the second quarter, with the trough being late in the quarter. Slow recovery is expected throughout the second half of 2022.

With too many trucks chasing available freight, there was little improvement in freight rates, which restrained vehicle purchase demand. Previous emissions upgrade policies that generated prebuy demand have now resulted in a natural lull. Some support for new vehicle sales was a result of good performance from export markets.

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This quarter’s commercial vehicle bright spot came from the large and medium bus market, reporting a mere 2% y/y contraction. That segment’s demand is supported by the country’s move toward the use of alternative fuels, particularly BEVs, for passenger movement, but in Q1 this was set against a backdrop of stunted passenger demand resulting from continuing COVID outbreaks.

The China CV OUTLOOK, jointly published quarterly by ACT and China’s State Information Center (SIC), includes a review and forecast of China’s heavy tractor and heavy and medium duty truck and bus markets, as well as analysis of OEM market shares within China and an overview of the Chinese macroeconomy. This quarterly report also includes access to monthly by-OEM wholesale data, alternative fuels market shares by CV application, market share percentages, industrial policy impacts, and an overview of the competitive landscape.

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