It has been ten years since”the Belt and Road” Initiative was first put forward in 2013. In the past 10 years, China, as the initiator and an important participant, has achieved mutually beneficial high-quality development with co-construction countries, and the truck industry, as a part of this plan, has also achieved more rapid development on the road to go global.
“the Belt and Road” Initiative, namely the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The route covers more than 100 countries and international organizations in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, and has a profound impact on global trade, investment and cultural exchanges.
10 years is only the prelude, and now it is a new starting point, and what kind of window of opportunity will be opened for Chinese brand trucks to go overseas by “the Belt and Road” is the focus of our common attention.
Focus on the following areas along the route
Trucks are essential tools for economic construction and development, and play a pivotal role in the process of promoting “the Belt and Road” Initiative. While most of the countries jointly built by “the Belt and Road” Initiative belong to developing countries, the development level of the automobile manufacturing industry is relatively low, and Chinese brand trucks have great advantages in terms of production capacity, performance and cost performance. In recent years, it has turned in excellent results in overseas exports.
According to the relevant data of the General Administration of Customs, before 2019, the export of heavy trucks was stable at about 80,000-90,000 vehicles, and in 2020, the impact of the epidemic declined significantly. In 2021, the export of heavy trucks rose to 140,000 vehicles, an increase of 79.6% year-on-year, and in 2022, the sales volume continued to rise to 190,000 vehicles, an increase of 35.4% year-on-year. The cumulative export sales of heavy trucks have reached 157,000 units, an increase of 111.8% year-on-year, which is expected to reach a new level.
From the perspective of the market segment in 2022, the sales volume of the Asian heavy truck export market reached the maximum of 66,500 units, of which Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and other major exporters to China.
The African market ranked second, with exports of more than 50,000 vehicles, of which Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Congo, South Africa and other major markets.
Although the European market is relatively small compared to the Asian and African markets, it shows a rapid growth trend. In addition to Russia affected by special factors, the number of heavy trucks imported from China by other European countries excluding Russia also rose from about 1,000 units in 2022 to 14,200 units last year, an increase of nearly 11.8 times, of which, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and other major markets. This is mainly attributed to the promotion of “the Belt and Road” Initiative, which has strengthened economic and trade cooperation between China and European countries.
In addition, in 2022, China exported 12,979 heavy trucks to South America, accounting for 61.3% of the total exports to the Americas, and the market showed stable growth.
Taken together, the key data of China’s heavy truck exports reflect the following trends: “the Belt and Road” Initiative provides more opportunities for China’s heavy truck exports, especially driven by demand from countries along the route, China’s heavy truck exports have achieved rapid growth; At the same time, the rapid growth of the European market also provides new opportunities for China’s heavy truck to expand the international market.
In the future, with the in-depth promotion of “the Belt and Road” Initiative and the continuous improvement of China’s heavy truck brands, it is expected that China’s heavy truck exports will continue to maintain a growth trend.
According to the 10-year export process of Chinese brand trucks and the development process and future opportunities of “the Belt and Road” Initiative, the following is the analysis of the operation mode of Chinese trucks going overseas:
1. Vehicle export mode: With the in-depth development of “the Belt and Road”, vehicle export will still be one of the main ways of China’s truck export. However, considering the diversity and complexity of overseas markets, Chinese truck enterprises need to continuously improve the quality and adaptability of products, and enhance after-sales service capabilities to meet the needs of different countries and regions.
2. Overseas plant construction and marketing system construction: With the deepening of cooperation among countries and regions along “the Belt and Road”, Chinese truck enterprises can realize localized operation by investing in local plants and establishing marketing systems. In this way, we can better adapt to the local market environment, improve market competitiveness, and also enjoy the advantages and support of local policies.
3. Follow the export of major national projects: Under the promotion of “the Belt and Road”, a large number of major infrastructure construction projects will be landed overseas. Chinese truck companies can cooperate with these construction companies to follow the project to the sea and provide logistics transportation services. This can achieve the indirect export of trucks, but also to ensure the stable development of enterprises.
4. Go overseas through trade channels: With the deepening of trade cooperation among countries and regions along “the Belt and Road”, Chinese truck enterprises can provide cross-border logistics services through cooperation with local logistics enterprises and e-commerce enterprises. At the same time, it can also expand brand awareness and influence by participating in international exhibitions and other ways to create more opportunities for going overseas.
In general, the operation mode of Chinese trucks going overseas will be more diversified and localized, and enterprises need to choose the appropriate export mode according to their actual situation and development strategy. At the same time, under the promotion of “the Belt and Road”, Chinese truck enterprises will usher in more development opportunities and challenges, and need to continuously improve their competitiveness and internationalization level.
In September this year, the leaders of China Automobile Group’s mainstream truck brands have embarked on a study trip to the Middle East countries, aiming to deepen cooperation, promote the signing of strategic projects, and strengthen the exchange of localized factory construction services. This move fully demonstrates the truck group led by Shaanxi Automobile attaches great importance to and has a strong willingness to develop new opportunities in “the Belt and Road” market.
In the form of field visits, they have in-depth understanding of the needs and trends of the Middle East market, which fully shows that the leaders of the group realize that the Middle East market has great potential and broad prospects for development under “the Belt and Road” Initiative. Therefore, they actively layout, through the localization of factories and other ways to further improve the brand influence and competitiveness, for the Chinese truck industry in the Middle East market to inject new vitality.
“the Belt and Road” has entered a new era, which is bound to bring better development opportunities to truck exports, but we must also clearly realize that the current international situation is complex and changeable, and there is still a large room for improvement of China’s truck brand and service.
We believe that in order to make better use of this new development window, we should pay attention to the following aspects.
1. Pay attention to changes in the international situation: The current international situation is full of uncertainties and variables, such as the Russia-Ukraine war and the escalation of conflicts in Middle East countries. These political changes may have an adverse impact on heavy truck exports, so Chinese heavy truck enterprises need to pay close attention to changes in the international situation and adjust export strategies in a timely manner to reduce potential risks.
2. To improve service and sales simultaneously: In order to avoid the disastrous lessons of Vietnam’s motorcycle exports, Chinese heavy truck enterprises need to increase sales while focusing on improving service quality. This includes strengthening after-sales service follow-up, providing timely and professional technical support and maintenance, as well as building close relationships with local dealers and agents to enhance brand reputation and customer satisfaction.
3. Actively innovate and improve vehicle characteristics in foreign markets: In order to better meet the market demand of different countries and regions, Chinese heavy truck enterprises need to actively innovate and improve vehicle characteristics in foreign markets. Shaanxi Automobile X5000, for example, fully takes into account the specific transportation needs of the Urumqi region. Enterprises need to fully understand the characteristics and needs of the target market, targeted research and development and improvement of products to meet the actual needs of the local market.
4. Make good use of TIR road transport and cross-border trade convenience: Under the promotion of “the Belt and Road”, TIR road transport and cross-border trade have become more convenient. Chinese heavy truck enterprises need to make full use of these favorable conditions to strengthen trade with neighboring countries. At the same time, it is also necessary to pay close attention to changes in international trade policies in order to timely adjust export strategies and seize more business opportunities.
Under the promotion of “the Belt and Road” in the new era, the developing countries along the routes are actively carrying out cooperation in infrastructure construction, economic and trade exchanges and other fields. This not only provides more business opportunities for China’s heavy truck exports, but also creates conditions for mutual benefit and win-win results for all countries. In this process, Chinese heavy truck enterprises need to keep up with the pace of The Times, actively expand overseas markets, and improve brand influence. At the same time, it is also necessary to focus on innovation and improvement to adapt to the market needs of different countries and regions.
On the road to overseas, Chinese heavy truck enterprises need to pay attention to the integration and development of the local market. It is necessary to actively expand cooperation with local enterprises, strengthen technical exchanges and personnel training, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. At the same time, it is also necessary to pay attention to the fulfillment of corporate social responsibility, actively participate in local public welfare undertakings, and give back to the local society.
In the context of “the Belt and Road”, China’s heavy truck exports are facing unprecedented opportunities and challenges. Only by keeping pace with The Times, focusing on innovation and improvement, and strengthening integration and development with the local market can we achieve sustainable development and achieve greater success in the global market. Let us look forward to a better tomorrow for China’s heavy truck exports!
Post time: Oct-12-2023