Auto China reveals global reach for Chinese truck manufacturers

By Tim Campbell, Managing Director
TruckWorld TV

This article was published in the August 2016 edition of NTEA News.

This new column, featured quarterly, offers a global commercial vehicle perspective. Tim Campbell will share current world trends and future expectations that may influence the North American work truck industry. For members seeking deeper insights into global product or markets, Tim is available for engagement as an industry consultant. Please contact him at

Beijing International Automotive Exhibition recently hosted Beijing Motor Show — Auto China (Beijing, China), which featured everything from heavy-duty trucks to passenger cars.

China adopted the European “Euro” standards for emissions. Most newly manufactured work trucks are at Euro 4 or 5 levels using selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Europe is currently at Euro 6. Nearly all manufacturers supply complete vehicles, including work trucks such as tippers or cement mixers.

Hyundai’s China manufacturing plant offers a range of products for the general transportation sector and work truck market. QTc is an Asian cab-over style vehicle similar to Class 3–5 trucks from Isuzu and Fuso Canter. A typical dropside would be made from steel and measure approximately 156 inches by 81 inches by 16 inches. Looking at the top of the range, Class 7 Trago Xcient is available as a 6x4 and 8x4, powered by SCR Euro 5 engines up to 435 brake horse power (bhp) with European-style cabs and accommodating bodies up to 366 inches.

Hyundai QTc.

Foton launched its new Auman (tractor units) and Aumark (rigids) Energy Super Trucks using Cummins, Daimler and ZF as the backbone of these offerings. The Daimler partnership is helping Foton achieve its goals of a 30-percent decrease in fuel consumption (or pure electric vehicles), 30-percent reduction in carbon emissions (or zero emissions) and 70-percent increase in overall freight transport efficiency in China and close markets. In addition to Class 8 products, its work trucks are based on the Aumark EST light-duty vehicle with Asian cab-over design and gross vehicle weight (GVW) from 6,600–17,600 pounds.

First Auto Works
First Auto Works (FAW) is viewed by many as a top Chinese automotive manufacturer, selling 2.85 million units in 2015 and providing a range of products across the truck sector. Offerings start with the light van V80 with a 4,500-pound GVW. Next up in weight range are the typical J6 series Asian-styled rigids. FAW displayed two EV trucks with 15,000-pound GVWs and dry freight bodies. Its latest generation JH6 tractor, available as a 6x4, garnered attention.

FAW police tactical unit.

Dong Feng
Dong Feng is a major player in the car and truck industries. The company’s partnership with Volvo demonstrates its global ambitions. It launched heavy trucks under the Chenglong brand. Dong Feng’s M3B series is for Class 3–7, H7 series for Class 6–8 and T7 series for Class 8 tractors. For work trucks, M3B and H7 offer a series of two-, three- and four-axle rigids with Cummins-based engines ranging from 270–520 horsepower.

Dong Feng T7, one of its first American-style trucks.

Perhaps not as well known as Foton or FAW, BEIBEN is nonetheless a serious Chinese manufacturer that started as an importer of Mercedes-Benz products in the 1980s. The company has a recently upgraded range under the V3 banner, but many of its multi-axle work trucks, such as the NG80 range, are still based on the original Daimler SK models sold in the late eighties. NG80 is available in 6x2, 6x4 and 8x4 configurations with a wheelbase around 21 feet (center-front-axle to center-rear-axle), steel suspension and 335 bhp engine.

BEIBEN NG80 8x4 tipper.

Jianghuai Auto Co. (JAC)
Founded in 1964, JAC is considered by many as the epitome of a Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer that made the most of its Western-style vehicle observations. Its vans look like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, its Class 3–5 rigid is similar to the Isuzu N Series and its Class 8 tractor resembles European truck manufacturer Scania.

JAC Sunray van.

The Cummins-powered Sunray van has an 8,000–9,000-pound GVW with load space of 265–425 cubic feet. The Frison pickup has a 6,250-pound GVW with 2,000-pound payload and is powered by a Euro 5, 150 bhp diesel engine. The Class 3–5 N Series rigid truck jointly developed by Navistar is powered by a 3.2-liter and 4.8-liter SCR diesel and covers GVWs from 9,900–27,500 pounds.

This Italian truck manufacturer (part of CNH Industrial) has a unique place in the Chinese truck market due to its long-standing relationship with Nanjing Automobile. After its takeover by SAIC (formerly Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation), Nanjing, through the joint-venture NAVECO company, developed into the light- and medium- truck division. Larger trucks are based on the SAIC Hongyan company.

Products from all SAIC groups were displayed, including IVECO Daily van-based offerings that are a generation behind their European cousins (although, they still featured an electric version).

The mid-range rigids are a mixture of Asian and European work trucks under the NAVECO brand. The Class 6–7 work trucks and Class 8 are based on IVECO’s Stralis European truck products, sold by SAIC under the Genlyon brand.

Things to know
Chinese truck manufacturers are beginning their pursuit of exporting products both as chassis only and complete trucks to the vocational sectors. The current focus is almost exclusively on the African, Middle Eastern and Asian markets where products are in line with customer expectations and demands. Chinese truck manufacturers are learning fast, capitalizing on partnerships with leading European and American commercial vehicle manufacturers as well as driveline OEMs.

Next quarter, Tim reports on the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show, held in Hanover, Germany. Learn more by visiting and the TruckWorld TV YouTube channel, or follow Tim on Facebook or Twitter at truckworld_tv. For more global articles and information, visit