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China Exported 158,000 Trucks in Q1, Up 41% YoY


Overseas truck exports have remained strong in Q1 2023 despite continued decline in domestic market.

According to the data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the cumulative sales of trucks in China have reached 838,000 units in the first quarter of 2023, down 4.2% year-on-year. Of these, 158,000 units were exported, up 41% year-on-year.

What are the main features of the export market in Q1, 2023?

一. The overseas truck exports hit new record, becoming a backbone for curbing the overall market downturn.

Comparison between Overall Market and Export Market in Q1, 2023

From the table above, it can be seen that the truck export market grew by 41% year-on-year in Q1, far beyond the overall truck market which went down by 4.2% percent, becoming the main force to curb the current decline in the overall truck market.

Export Sales Hit a New Record High

Export sales hit a record 158,000 units, the highest in four years (up 41% year-on-year).

What are the main reasons behind its outperformance? Let's see

1. China trucks are becoming more and more competitive

Chinese branded vehicles have improved significantly in terms of appearance, quality, or intelligent connected and were not at all bad by comparison with other JV brand.

2. Significant changes have taken place in investment patterns.

The overseas development mode has evolved from its original trade mode, partial KD to direct investment. A number of plants directly invested by the truck manufacturer have begun mass production outside of China and are gradually ramping up production and sales. This builds a solid foundation for the company to further enhance its brand influence and promote future growth.

三. A surge in exports of electric trucks supports overall growth.

Data shows that China exported 13,897 full electric trucks in the first quarter of 2023, jumping 614% year-on-year. This growth is much higher than the 41% growth of the overall market.

四.China trucks are cheap and well-made and therefore favored by some development countries.

五. Exporting countries like Russia saw a surge that pushed up overall exports

Exports from China to Russia amounted to 28603 units, up 622%% from last year. China's truck exports to Mexico surged 80 percent year on year to 14853 units. The cumulative number of trucks exported to these two countries alone accounted for nearly 30% of the total number of China's truck exports in the first quarter, forcefully pushing up the overall number of China's truck exports.

Change in export volume and share Q1 2022 and 2023

As can be seen from the table above, proportion of all kinds of trucks by ton are as below:

The dominance of light trucks has weakened significantly, with a share of 47.5% in the first quarter of this year, the highest among all segments but down 11.1% compared to last year. As the pandemic ends, the demand for heavy truck and tractor head was restored, further squeezing the space for light trucks.

The second largest export share went for heavy trucks, which accounted for 20% of the overall truck exports, representing an increase of 4.3%.

The third largest export share went for tractor head, which accounted for 18.5% of the overall truck exports, representing a YoY increase of 5.3%, the highest growth rate.

Others mainly went to mini trucks and pickups, which got the share of 8.0%, up 3.6% compared to 2022.

Medium-duty trucks accounted for the smallest share at 6%, a 2.1% decrease from 2022 and the largest decrease.

四. Exports of diesel trucks reached 108,503 units, up 38% year-on-year. Diesel-powered vehicles still dominate the overseas truck market, representing 68.75% of the market share.

This was followed by gasoline-powered trucks, with 31,890 petrol-powered trucks exported, up 9% year-on-year. It accounted for 20.20% of the total, 8.96 less than the year before.

And then further down the list are electric trucks, whose exports jumped 614% year-on-year to 13,897 units, accounting for 8.8% of total exports.

It can be seen that electric trucks are the segment with the strongest development momentum in China's truck export market in the first quarter of this year.

As more and more countries make climate-friendly upgrades and embark on green and low-carbon growth paths, there has been a significant increase in the demand for electric trucks.

Exports of plug-in hybrid trucks were 124 units, representing only 0.08% of the total, up 153% year-on-year.

There were also 3,241 trucks exported, not yet known as the type of power was not indicated, accounting for 2.17 per cent.

五.Russia, Mexico and Chile are among the Top Three Players

Quantity, proportion and market share of TOP10 exporting countries

Russia is the country with the largest number of trucks imported from China, and the only one to exceed 20000 units (a 622% jump year-on-year), with a market share of 18.1%. This is something China trucks depend on for a significant increase in the first quarter, 2023.

The second highest export destination country is Mexico, which imported 14,853 units, with an increase of 79% YOY and market share of 9.4%.

The number of trucks exported to other countries is below 7,500, with a market share of less than 5%.

Of the top 10 players, 6 increased and 4 decreased year on year, with Russia seeing the highest growth. The top ten players account for 54% of the total. At present, China trucks are mainly exported to economically underdeveloped countries and regions. While in the developed European countries, China trucks still do not have a competitive advantage.

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