The Global Bus Market declined for the second consecutive year in 2018, falling by 6.5%. Growth in the Americas and Europe was more than offset by declines in Asia-Pacific.
In Asia-Pacific sales declined by 10.1% YoY. The most noteworthy point is China experienced a second successive year of declines as sales dwindled by 15.9% YoY. The market faced a number of headwinds, such as the economic slowdown, continuing changes in demography - lowering ridership levels - and more stringent revisions to the New Energy Vehicle Subsidy which pulled forward and reduced demand somewhat over the course of the year for electric buses. In addition, the market is undergoing a period of correction and gradual maturity following a decade of rapid growth.
In North America, bus sales grew YoY for the eighth year in a row, albeit moderately at 1%. Moving southwards, South America recorded double digit growth of 13.8% as new bus sales in Brazil continued to recover off an all-time low base. This growth has been supported by favourable financing initiatives for buses.
In Europe, the region witnessed growth of 2.7% YoY in 2018. The biggest gains were in Italy (67.2%), Czech Republic (63.6%) and Russia (16.6%). Offsetting this to an extent were declines in France (-2.3%), UK (-14.6%) and Turkey (-38.1%). In Western Europe bus sales grew moderately at 0.5%, whereas Eastern Europe recorded positive growth of 5.7%.
This year we are more optimistic and forecast growth of around 4% YoY.
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