In International Truck Stop, May 20219 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 12, 2021

In the past year, China‘s truck-makers managed to sell more than 1.6 million heavy vehicles. Compared with 2019, this represented a growth of more than 38%.

The results are quite an achievement as 2020 will be remembered as a period of great hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn. So what made the Chinese heavy-truck market so attractive?

There were two main factors – an influx of new models matching European standards in design and operation, and the government came up with new measures to reduce the environmental footstep of heavy vehicles.

Furthermore, the month- by month-increase in helped by the resumption of work and production after the pandemic eased off in China in 2020. The change of people‘s lifestyle after the Covid-19 period – for example, the rapid development of e-commerce – also brought a sharp increase in the demand for logistic services and a consequent need for better and more economical commercial vehicles. And the Chinese road authorities introduced a new tax-collection policy based on the number of axles and permissible axle weights.


The Hanyan P9 was presented in February 2021 and is XCMG‘s new flagship. JAC sold 53,000 units in 2020. (left) 
JAC sold 53,000 units in 2020. (centre)
With 150,200 units sold in 2020, Foton Motors is China‘s fifth-largest truck manufacturer. (right)

Since 2020, the manual weighing of trucks has been abolished and a new electronic toll road system set up, becoming active in January 2021. This led to an increase in two-axle tractors and trucks. As a consequence, sales of rigid 18-tonne GVW trucks made a big leap forward. Compared with the previous year, companies sold no less than 40% more medium-weight trucks in 2020. And significant investments in infrastructure by the government have also contributed to increased sales of dump trucks, mixer chassis and other construction vehicles.

The interior of the recently launched Foton Auman Auhawk R medium-duty truck (bottom left photo).

In line with rapid growth in the commercial-vehicle market, Chinese truck manufacturers have continuously launched various new medium- and heavy-duty models. Some completely new names entered the field, keeping up with the latest trends in road transportation and the more stringent government regulations. The mechanical quality of vehicles has improved as a result, and so has the operational applicability in the modern logistic market.


The Foton Auman Auhawk R is a promising new truck in the 18-tonne GVW range and was voted Chinese Truck of the Year 2021. (left)
A bold colour scheme is rare with Chinese trucks but SAIC is daring to offer this in 2021. (centre)
With 150,200 units sold in 2020, Foton Motors is China‘s fifth-largest truck manufacturer. (right)

It is interesting to see which brands gained the most in the recent developments. Looking at the top 10 rankings for 2020, FAW Jiefang led the list with total sales of 377,000 trucks and a market share of 23.2%. The company‘s flagship truck/tractor is the J7 Eagle, which not only looks good but is built to the highest standards. With 311,000 units, the Dongfeng Corporation comes second. The top model in the Dongfeng line up is the KX Tianlong. Although it was developed a few years ago, it is now available with a six-cylinder diesel engine of 447kW (600hp), which produces a peak torque of 2750Nm.

The third spot goes to Sinotruk Corporation, which saw a growth of 57% in 2020. For this year, its top- of-the-range Howo TH7 received a facelift of the old Volvo FH-based cab. Together, these three large manufacturers form the main core of the Chinese truck market.

Shaanxi Co saw sales of the Shaanxi and Shacman heavy trucks increase by 28%. The latter company‘s products are exported to many countries worldwide, including New Zealand. The Delong X6000 is the company‘s top model. Power comes from Weichai Euro-6 diesel engines with up to 447kW (600hp), with a ZF automated manual transmission. For some markets, Cummins engines and Eaton AMT transmissions are also fitted.


The sleek Shacman Delong X6000 must help the Shaanxi HD Automobile Group gain more market share this year. (left)
The European-style cockpit of the new Shacman X6000 heavy truck. (centre)
Sinotruck‘s Howo TH7, with its old Volvo FH cab, got a makeover. (right)

Foton Motor increased sales by no less than 75% last year, making it the fastest-growing truck maker in the top 10 ranking. Its all-new Auhawk R medium-duty truck, recently voted Chinese Truck of the Year 2021, should help increase sales even more. The 18-tonne GVW truck is equipped with a six-cylinder diesel engine of 162kW (217hp)/820Nm, combined with a ZF AMT transmission. Its good-looking design integrates European standards with China‘s new regulations and market needs.

During the ceremony in April to celebrate the production of its 10,000,000th vehicle, Foton Motor also launched the new top-of-the-range Auman Galaxy. The heavy tractor has a modern Euro-style cab but you have to get used to the front-end styling.

Selling 80,000 units in 2020 makes SAIC Hongyan CV Co the sixth-largest truck maker. The company, established in 2003 as a joint venture with Iveco, markets its vehicles under the Hongyan, Genhoo and Genlyon brands. The all-new H6 range was presented late last year. Contrary to most Chinese offerings in the heavy-duty field, the new SAIC products are also available in a flamboyant colour scheme.

JAC Motors, one of the oldest truck manufacturers in the country, saw its sales share increase by 41%. JAC is one of several manufacturers that also offers heavy- commercial vehicles that can run on alternative fuels such as LNG. The last three truck- makers in the top 10 rankings, CAMC, Dayun and XCMG, each had a share of just 1% to 2% of annual truck production in 2020.

It will be interesting to see what the new year brings. The big names are expected to do good business again because of the growing demand for cleaner and leaner road transport. But do not be surprised to see also some new entrants appearing on the local market.


Selling 311,000 trucks ranked Dongfeng at No.2 in 2020. This is the 600hp KX top model. (left)
The brand-new 8×4 drive FAW J7 Eagle looks well up to its task. (centre)
During a ceremony in April celebrating the production of its 10,000,000th vehicle, Foton also launched this new Auman Galaxy heavy truck. (right)