Sales of wheeled loaders in China grew 45 per cent last year to 70,400 units. Although still popular machines, wheeled loaders were out-sold by excavators for the first time in China’s history last year, and conventional products are being challenged by low cost, low quality ‘economical’ loaders in the smaller size classes.
Last year’s surge in infrastructure projects was the main reason for rise in sales last year, and this stimulated demand in both the construction segment itself, as well as in mining and quarrying. Almost 80 per cent of demand in China was for 5 tonne capacity machines, which is to say those with a 150-200 horsepower engine. The under 100 horsepower segment is now almost totally dominated by economical machines, and sales of these largely locally built, un-engineered products, which fall outside the scope of Off-Highway Research’s report, could have been as high as 200,000 units last year.
Wheeled loader exports from China also grew significantly last year, with indigenous manufacturers targeting export markets and international companies using their production footprints in China to serve other developing economies.
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