Analysis on Import and Export of Commercial Vehicles in 2017

In 2017, China’s import volume of commercial vehicles reached 18,169 units, increasing by 26.22% YOY; the export volume was 308,778 units, with an increase of 9.99% YOY. Overall, the import volume and export volume both increased year on year.

In terms of import and export structures, commercial vehicles mainly consist of trucks, passenger cars and special vehicles. Trucks and passenger cars took up a large portion in both the imports and exports, among which trucks accounted for more than 70%.

Related report: Report on Commercial Vehicle Industry in China, 2018-2022

In 2017, China imported 15,459 trucks, 1,073 passenger cars and only 170 special vehicles. With regard to year-on-year changes, trucks and passenger cars achieved positive growth. Trucks increased by 33.94% and passenger cars grew by 45.59%. The import of special vehicles and others (mainly chassis) decreased year on year, among which others fell by the largest margin of 24.26%.

Imported trucks took up the most market share of 85.08%, with an increase of nearly 5 percentage points over 2016. This shows a strong correlation with the growth in domestic truck demands. Passenger cars slightly increased by 0.8 percentage points.

In 2017, 230,850 trucks and 56,406 passenger cars were exported. The export volumes of special vehicles and others were 16,874 and 4,648, respectively. In the 4 segment markets, only passenger car exports decreased year on year, and the other segment markets all went up. Other vehicles (mainly chassis) experienced the largest increase of 77% YOY.

Exported trucks contributed the largest market share, growing by 1.6 percentage points over 2016. Besides, the proportion of passenger car exports fell by more than 2 percentage points, and the other two markets increased slightly.

Analysis on Sources of Imported Commercial Vehicles

In 2017, the import volume of commercial vehicles was 18,169 units, and the import value was USD 1.119 billion. The imported commercial vehicles were mainly from Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America, with Europe and North America occupying the most shares. The two regions mainly imported trucks while Asia imported passenger cars with the small import volume of trucks. 

In the same year, China mainly imported high-end commercial vehicle models. The U.S., Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands were the major sources of imports. The U.S. was the main exporter of trucks because it took the leading position in this regard. Germany is the home to two world-class commercial vehicle manufacturers, Man and Mercedes-Benz, and Sweden gathers two great manufacturers, Scania and Volvo, so the two countries have become the major truck exporters to China.

The import volume of the top 4 importers all exceeded 2,000 units, and the total import value reached more than USD 940 million, far surpassing the remaining countries.

The commercial vehicle imports from the U.S. included passenger cars, trucks, chassis and special vehicles, among which trucks accounted for the highest percentage. In addition, trucks were major imports from Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, while passenger cars made up just a few shares. Japan was the main exporter of passenger cars.

Analysis on Export Destinations of Commercial Vehicles

Asia, Africa and Latin America were the major import continents of Chinese commercial vehicles, among which the volume and value of exports to Asia were the highest, with 174,607 units exported, accounting for more than 57%. Latin America ranked second.

The exports to the several continents were mainly trucks and passenger cars. The number of special vehicles exported to Africa was higher than that of Latin America, and the number of passenger cars exported to Europe was higher than that of Oceania.

In 2017, the top ten importers of Chinese commercial vehicles were all developing countries, with 7 countries importing over 10,000 vehicles. Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries were the key export destinations, of which Vietnam had the largest demand for commercial vehicles. The Philippines and Myanmar came to heels of above countries, and their import volumes were close to each other. Chile and Iran also followed.

In 2017, China’s exported commercial vehicles to Vietnam reached 54,486 units, accounting for 17.65% of the total, with the export value up to USD 877 million. Among the top 3 importers, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar mainly imported trucks. Bolivia, ranking 6th, was the only country in the top ten that imported more passenger cars than trucks. Moreover, Ecuador imported the most chassis from China.


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