RV industry experts believe a boom in demand will come to China’s market, despite showing a downward trend in the first half of the year.
According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), 5,155 RVs were sold nationally in the first half of this year, down 12% year-on-year. Sales in June reached 1,318 units, down 11% compared with June 2021.
The figures negated the momentum of growth that began to boom in 2021 against the consumption stimulation backdrop and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report.
Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the CPCA, said on his official WeChat account that the sales decrease could be attributed to RV production, which was affected by the pandemic outbreak in Shanghai in the first half of 2022. The city is home to the main production area of the vehicle segment.
Cui said as China’s RV market develops rapidly, the number of RV makers and campsites has risen in recent years. Still, consumers are unfamiliar with RV products and lack knowledge of RV camping, which are the bottlenecks of future growth.
He suggested increasing the public’s exposure to RV products, providing consumers with test-drive opportunities, and improving the supporting facilities and related services of RV lifestyles will drive the market’s sustainable growth.
He also believes that the pandemic will have a sobering effect on consumers, limiting long-distance and overseas travel. As such, the RV market will indeed resume growth.
A market consultancy iiMedia Research report shows that between 2014 and 2021, the market value of camping in China increased from 7.71 billion yuan ($1.14 billion) to 29.9 billion yuan. The growth is forecast to reach 18.6 percent year-on-year in 2022, meaning the market size will reach 35.46 billion yuan.
An analyst from iiMedia suggests significant growth potential in China’s RV market. The ownership per 1,000 people in North America and Europe stands at about 30 and 15, respectively. In China, it is fewer than 0.2.
Many companies have sped up moves to release new products to the market. The country’s leading RV provider, SAIC Maxus, started presales of its new RVlife camping edition in May to meet the demands of the young generation.
Maxus found that people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are interested in camping. Drivers with a C1 and C2 driving license, the most standard driving license in China, can drive the RVlife. The model has a refrigerator, microwave oven, water dispenser, and other household appliances.
Policies also support the market. The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for developing cultural and tourism sectors mentioned self-driving trips several times.
It urges the industry to advance differently by creating an overall RV-centric tourism industrial chain, building new campsites and tourist centers, and enhancing related manufacturing technologies.
The plan also called for the Ministry of National Resources and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to support the establishment of campsites and facility production.
This article originally appeared on China Daily.