Analysis on School Bus Market in the first half of 2013 (I)
www.chinabuses.org: There are ups and downs. The growth rates in the first three months were negative. The rate in Jan.-Feb. dropped the most and rose the most in Jan.-May.
I. The unexpected slump stroke the school bus market from January to March and the main reasons are as follows:
1. In the first three months, the execution of governments' policies in different regions influenced the progress of these school bus markets. Market survey says underdeveloped regions such as Guangxi and Hunan showed strong demands for school buses, the opposite to developed regions like Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai which had purchased substantial school buses years ago.
2. 2013 winter holiday started in late January, followed by the Spring Festival in early February, when it was an inappropriate period for most schools to purchase the buses.
3. The procurement of school buses relies on the government subsidy, which was influenced by the change of administration in March.
4. The competition became intensified thanks to the increasing bus manufacturers, from 20 companies in 2012 to over 30 ones.
5. Despite nearly 30,000 school buses were sold in 2012, different operation modes led to irregularity of the market, as well as disorder and waste of resources.
6. Several experts were not optimistic with school bus market, indicating the investment risk and the slight negativity influenced a few potential buyers.
7. With lower requirements for market access and large investment to be followed, school market is encountering the increasing investment risk. Experts predicted the more drastic competitions.
8. In 2013, central government released an eight-point code, which particularly included the restriction to procurement of vehicles at public expenses, influencing the school bus market in Q1.
II. Reasons to Sales Growth in April and May
1. Thanks to the holidays in May when outdoor travels for teachers and students were organized, many schools tended to purchase school buses in April. (Y-O-Y growth in April reached 40%).
2. In some areas, school buses are paid by local governments, which approved the funds after the "Two Sessions" in March, 2013. That's why sales increased in April.
3. When tourist season in April and May approached, government offices and institutions tended to rent instead of purchasing vehicles, due to the eight-point code of the Central Government. Many schools were tempted to purchase school buses for rent.
4. In some regional markets such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang, etc., tourism companies are not issued certificates unless their buses are high grade I, while school buses, without such restrictions, become the alternative options for these companies.