Global bus demand expected to accelerate

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Asian and Pacific markets will account for over 60% of new demand

Global demand for buses is projected to advance more than 5% per annum to 664,000 units in 2018, twice as fast as the 2008-2013 rate of increase, a report has said.

The World Buses report by Freedonia said that five major trends will drive growth, the largest being expansion in the size of the global urban population.

Rising government investment in public transport networks, particularly bus rapid transit systems to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, is another trend.

Further aspects are growth in the number and size of private transport companies, and the climbing worldwide sales of electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG) models, as many countries adopt more stringent emissions standards.

However, analyst Gleb Mytko noted that: “Global bus sales increases will be restrained by rising use of motorcycles and light motor vehicles as income levels climb in many developing nations.”

The expansion of rail transportation networks around the world is also expected to moderate bus market growth.

The Asia/Pacific region is projected to account for more than 60% of all new global bus demand through 2018. China alone will be responsible for nearly half of the global total. Growth is expected to pick up in both China and India, the region’s two largest bus markets, after declining moderately during the second part of the 2008-2013 period. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea are also expected to perform considerably better between 2013 and 2018 as older buses are replaced.

Suppliers to the Asia/Pacific market are expected to benefit greatly from additional government investment in bus networks and expansion of the tourism and private transportation industries. Also, Type C and other purpose-built school bus demand is expected to rise, especially in China.

After a period of sizable losses, demand for buses in North America and Western Europe is predicted to ‘rebound noticeably,’ as sales of electric, hybrid, CNG, and LNG buses grow.