Truck sales in Russia have been growing rapidly since the beginning of the year. However, domestic manufacturers are losing ground, and Chinese brands are seriously increasing their presence. Competitors from China are already almost 1.5 times ahead of Russian and Belarusian brands of trucks. At the same time, the share of trucks imported under parallel imports is several times lower than in the passenger segment of the market. Details – in the material “Izvestia“.
Trucks are accelerating
From January to April, 38,643 new trucks were sold in Russia. This is 39.9% more than in the same period last year. Such data are provided by the analytical and consulting company “ASM-Holding”.
Russian KamAZ retains its leadership in the market of heavy commercial vehicles – 9870 trucks of this brand were sold in four months. The second place belongs to the Chinese manufacturer Sitrak (6140 cars). Most of these are mainline tractors, which have become an alternative to the new European “trunks” that have left the Russian market. Next comes Shaanxi (also from China), which has sold 5,200 trucks since the beginning of the year. The top five brands are FAW and Howo: these manufacturers from China sold 3450 and 2440 cars in January-April, respectively.
Since the beginning of the year, the Nizhny Novgorod GAZ has sold 2,100 truck models (the popular Gazelle and Sobol, representing the LCV segment, are not included in this statistics), the Belarusian MAZ – 2,000 vehicles, and the Ural – 1,140 trucks. The Chinese Foton and JAC close the top ten: each manufacturer had a thousand cars.
KAMAZ-54901 truck tractor Photo: RIA Novosti / Vitaly Belousov
Sanctions helped China
An analysis of the market for new trucks shows that Russian heavy equipment manufacturers are gradually losing ground. For example, the results of KamAZ for January-April 2023 turned out to be 12.8% worse than for the same period in 2022. The positions of the truck manufacturer from Naberezhnye Chelny were seriously shaken by the sanctions imposed last spring and the resulting break in relations (at the initiative of the German side) with Daimler Truck. As a result, the first KamAZ-54901 mainline tractor of the K5 generation (it is based on the Mercedes-Benz Actros truck), assembled without the use of components from unfriendly countries, rolled off the assembly line of the plant only at the beginning of February this year. Mine casting: will Russian trucks manage without foreign countries What will KamAZ produce under sanctions
Other domestic manufacturers of commercial vehicles, despite the overall growth of the truck market, also show a negative trend. Compared to the first four months of last year, GAZ has a 13.1% decrease in sales, while Ural has lost 46.4% at once.
Against this background, manufacturers from China are actively increasing sales of their equipment. For example, JAC increased them by 77%, Howo “grew” 2.4 times, Shaanxi – 3.4 times, and FAW – 9.3 times. The Sitrak brand became the record holder: if in the four months of last year only 34 buyers roamed the trucks of this automaker, this year sales increased by 180 times at once. Thus, Chinese brands, which have sold a total of just over 21 thousand trucks since the beginning of the year, have overtaken domestic manufacturers of heavy equipment (a total of 15.1 thousand trucks, including 2,000 vehicles of the Belarusian MAZ) by almost 1.5 times.
The so-called European seven truck manufacturers (Scania, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Renault, Iveco and DAF brands) left the Russian market in full force. Accordingly, the sales of their models in our country also fell sharply (by 44-85% depending on the brand). Dealers are selling trucks left in warehouses, the production of vehicles at the Russian plants of these companies, as well as the supply of new equipment from abroad, has been stopped.
Manufacture of Chinese trucks JAC Photo: Global Look Press/Cfoto
Unlike the car market, where demand for premium segment models is partly covered by parallel according to this scheme, the minimum. According to Valery Kuzmin, the managing partner of AAA Truckservice, the official dealer of MAN and Sinotruk trucks in Russia, it provides only 2-3% of the required number of trucks. In the last van: MAN and Scania are thinking about leaving Russia Truck brands from Europe are selling assets in the country
— Such transactions do not have a clear final legal structure, they are initially too complicated. This leads to significant commissions from various counterparties that help organize logistics. There are also significant costs associated with customs and the preparation of the necessary documents. In addition, there is still a rise in prices due to the refusal of most of the sellers of European equipment to work with deliveries to Russia, he told Izvestia.
According to him, second-hand equipment is primarily delivered through parallel imports, which are subject to more lenient prohibitions and restrictions. Not imported: why parallel import of cars does not work in the mass segment Will Chinese manufacturers, the new Moskvich and lower customs duties change the market
In addition to difficulties with logistics and high prices, the low share of parallel imports of trucks is also affected by their design features for different countries, emphasizes Fedor Lapshin, editor of the Trucks and Buses section of the Autoreview publication. According to him, European models were supplied to our country in the “northern” version, with additional thermal insulation of the cabins, increased power of autonomous heaters, and some other design differences.
Howo TrucksPhoto: Global Look Press/Cfoto
— In addition, cars with Euro-5 engines went to Russia, while trucks with Euro-6 engines are sold on the European market,” the expert noted.
According to the forecasts of Valery Kuzmin, at the end of the year, the growth in sales of trucks will be approximately 15%. Sergey Burgazliev, an independent consultant on the automotive industry, adheres to similar assessments. At the same time, the trend towards increasing the share of Chinese truck manufacturers will continue, the expert believes. Let’s take off: sales of new cars in Russia have increased The Russian car market showed a positive result for the first time in two years
— Obviously, in the medium term, domestic truck manufacturers will not be able to fully satisfy the demand for this equipment. Unlike car buyers who can easily put off buying a new car, businesses can’t wait. Freight carriers need new vehicles: retail development, active construction, large industrial projects – everyone needs new equipment. Therefore, the missing supply on the truck market in the near future will be covered by models from China, he told Izvestia.