China bus industry has entered a period of adjustment in recent years following a phase of rapid growth with bus output and sales presenting downward trends (a year-on-year fall of 7.4% and 8.7% in 2016 and 15.3% and 14.0% in the first half of 2017, respectively).
Over the next couple of years, the bus market may well decline due to smaller new energy vehicle subsidies, higher technical barriers and competition from high-speed rail; however, urban bus network and alternative demand from new energy vehicles can still provide some impetus to the bus industry. Hence, the country's output and sales of bus are expected to reach 572,400 units and 582,700 units in 2021, representing a CAGR of 0.9% and 1.4% over 2016, respectively.
Market structure: Large and medium-sized buses grew rapidly while light bus fell at a faster rate in 2016. The output and sales of large bus were 90,200 units and 90,400 units, up 5.23% and 6.91% year on year, respectively; for medium-sized bus, 99,000 units were produced and 99,400 units sold, a 26.60% and 26.07% rise over the previous year separately; regarding light bus, 357,700 units were produced and 353,600 units sold, down 16.22% and 18.14% from a year ago individually.
The bus market slid across the board in the first half of 2017 with the output and sales of large bus going down 18.26% and 17.38% to 28,500 units and 27,900 units respectively, of medium-sized bus down 37.54% and 36.36% to both 26,000 units, and of light bus down 9.71% and 8.32% to 164,200 units and 166,500 units separately, all on year-on-year basis.
Competitive landscape: relatively stable but highly concentrated. In 2016, top10 bus makers seized a combined market share of 71.47% and top5 ones 49.58%. With complete product lines (large, medium-sized and light buses), Yutong Bus and Xiamen King Long Motor Group retained the top spots, while JMC, Shenyang Jinbei Automotive and Beiqi Foton Motor, by virtue of their numerical advantage of light bus, joined the top 5 positions.