According to US-based industry data analysis company R.L. Polk & Co, the global commercial vehicle market declined seven per cent during the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.
The global decline in heavy commercial vehicles mirrors the soft economic environment in select countries, according to Polk.
“It is increasingly important for commercial vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to evaluate the global market from a much larger perspective as they expand their businesses in other regions,” said Gary Meteer, Account Director for commercial vehicle solutions at Polk.
Polk estimates the global registrations based on an assessment of the top 30 countries, which account for approximately 98 per cent of the total global market for heavy commercial vehicles (defined as in excess of 3.5 tonnes).
Not surprisingly, China and India have represented the two largest markets for heavy commercial vehicle registrations since 2010 and accounted for nearly 58 percent of the global market during the first quarter of 2012. However, the first quarter performance showed registrations in China decreased 18.2 percent from first quarter 2011 volumes, while the commercial vehicle market in India grew 5.1 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011.
Standard rigid trucks were the most registered heavy commercial vehicles in both the Chinese and Indian markets. As the Polk statistics include buses it is of interest that in China 6.2 percent of the total heavy commercial vehicle sales were buses or van-derived buses. In India, the figure for buses was 15.4 percent.
Based on Polk’s analysis, JAC Motors (soon to have a range of light trucks available in Australia) was the leading manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles in China during the first quarter of 2012, with 15.3 percent of the market, while Dongfeng followed closely with 15.2 percent.
In India, Tata Motors continued to dominate the heavy commercial vehicle category with a 59 percent market share, followed by Ashok Leyland with 21.5 percent.
In markets with more than 10,000 new retail registrations during the first quarter of this year, the largest year-on-year increases were achieved in Canada, Japan, the UK and the USA while South Korea and Germany both experienced declines.