Despite the undesirable growth of the bus market in 2014, the small market drew wide attention from numerous engine manufacturers. Amid the fierce market competition over the past year, Yuchai, the traditional leader in this market, defended its sales championship by wide product spectrum and quality services. "Yuchai registered bus engine sales of some 125,000 units in 2014, even with 2013," said Ren Wuchao, vice manager of the Department of Engine Marketing, Yuchai Sales Co., Ltd. Despite the slump of the highway bus market and the insignificant growth of the school bus market, Yuchai achieved good results in the bus market so as to retain its lead in this field, he added.
The results do not come easy. According to statistics, in the first 11 months of 2014, 503,100 buses were sold with a sales-output ratio of 99.75 percent, up 8.19 percent year on year, including 74,200 large buses, 67,500 medium buses and 361,400 light buses, up 0.25 percent, down 10.91 percent and up 14.65 percent year on year respectively. The slump of the large highway bus market and the insignificant growth of the school bus market made more engine manufacturers shift their focus of contention to bus upgrading. "About more than 80 percent of Yuchai's bus sales were from the bus market in 2014. Of course we underwent the strongest competition from the market," Ren said. In the bus market, Yuchai input more resources to perfect its industry chain and respond to market demands rapidly while competing with opponents in business policies, he added.
Gas engines accounted for a large proportion in the bus market in 2014. Yuchai was no exception with its gas engine sales accounting for more than half of its total sales in the bus market. In some domestic areas rich in gas sources and some domestic large cities under heavy environmental pressure, the proportion of gas sales was higher. Yuchai got an order for 587 national V gas engines and 48 Euro VI diesel engines in the just-completed bus engine tender of Beijing Public Transport Group (BPTG) in 2014.
However, Ren was pessimistic about the growth of gas engine sales in 2015. He thought the cost advantage of gas engines will no longer be significant due to the impact of electric vehicles on the market and the increasingly small price difference between oil and gas. Speaking of the prospect of the bus market in 2015, he thought the total capacity of the bus engine market will not change significantly in 2015, but comprehensive upgrading of products will be unavoidable, and engine emission standard upgrading will be stepped up under the environmental pressure exerted by local governments in super large cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. "Next, the sound national high-speed railway construction network will continue its impact on interprovincial highway passenger transport," said Ren, adding that the large highway bus market will continue to shrink, but the short-distance light bus market will face a huge development opportunity.
Thanks to development dividends in 2014 such as constant acceleration of urbanization, increase in rural and urban residents' income and highway network expansion, the sales of light buses for short-distance transport soared. Ren told the reporter that Yuchai will enhance its product competitiveness in the 6m/6.5m- bus market to drive up sales. "In the bus market, we will take full advantage of Yuchai's customer resources and brand popularity to provide more active services. Also, we will further enhance product competitiveness. As a platform of a machinery plant covers a couple of models, Yuchai will further refine and specialize products on the basis of enhancing product competitiveness, to grasp customer demands more accurately," he said.
(Lv Caixia/China Automotive News)