The Ministry of Industry and Trade is once again discussing an increase in salvage fees, this time for heavy trucks. In the falling truck market in the Russian Federation, sales of Chinese vehicles are growing rapidly, but they are mainly replacing European players who have left the country. At the same time, a strong ruble, analysts say, creates risks for sales of KamAZ. Kommersant’s sources agree that this is more about protecting the positions of KamAZ than about trying to raise additional funds for the budget.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is discussing an increase in the utilization fee for trucks, sources told Kommersant. One of them notes that we are talking about indexing for heavy dump trucks – a segment in which most of the trucks are now sold. Another says the discussion is for all heavy trucks. According to him, the size of the increase has not yet been determined, but consultations are underway with all domestic players.
Another Kommersant source says that the indexation will be basic – by 25%, and only for the “narrow segment” of dump trucks and onboard vehicles, where there is “the dominance of Chinese trucks.” At present, the salvage fee, for example, for new dump trucks weighing from 12 tons to 20 tons is 55.8 thousand rubles, but in case of an increase it can grow to 69.7 thousand rubles, for dump trucks over 20 tons – from 126 thousand to 157.5 thousand rubles
According to Avtostat, in January-October, sales of trucks in the Russian Federation fell by 19.4%, to 65.7 thousand, in October – by 21.2%, to 7 thousand units. KamAZ remains the leader with a share of 36%. In October, the concern sold 2.5 thousand trucks (a decrease of 15.3%). It is followed by Chinese players, which, on the contrary, show growth, including Shacman/Shaanxi (up 2.1 times, to 890 units), Sitrak (736 units) and Faw (up 3.8 times, to 638 units). The top 5 is closed by the GAZ group, whose sales decreased by 49.5% to 386 units. The model rating is headed by KamAZ 43118, followed by the Sitrak C7H tractor, KamAZ 65115, Faw CA3310 and Shacman/Shaanxi SX3258 dump trucks.
At the same time, in fact, Chinese cars simply replaced the “European seven” that left the market in the segment – Scania, Volvo, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, DAF, Iveco, Renault, which was also discussed in KamAZ (see “Kommersant” dated July 20 ). EU-7 companies have not been supplying products to the Russian Federation since the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine and do not produce products at Russian enterprises. In one of the commercial offers, the Sitrak C7H was announced as “manufactured using MAN technologies (frame, cabs, engines, axles, ZF gearbox)” and as “a complete replacement for European cars” (Scania, Volvo, Mercedes).
A number of Kommersant’s interlocutors note that the departure of Western players from the Russian Federation and the ban on the supply of trucks due to EU and US sanctions have greatly reduced supply in the segment, and players from China can only partially compensate for it.
Kommersant’s interlocutors see inconsistency in creating additional pressure on Chinese brands in the conditions when companies from China are now supplying components to the Russian auto industry. One of them, however, admits that the idea of increasing the waste collection arose from the need to “save the industry and replenish the treasury.” We are talking about the accumulation of funds that can be directed to state support for domestic players.
The last time the increase in the scrappage fee for cars was discussed at the beginning of 2021 – also by 25%. After widespread protests from manufacturers, farmers and other industries, the government froze the proposal and, as Kommersant’s interlocutors told Kommersant, considered the idea of filling the budget for state support in this way unworkable.
A number of Kommersant’s interlocutors doubt that it is possible to raise a significant amount by indexing the waste collection. They are sure that it is simply about protecting the market for KamAZ. KamAZ did not comment on the discussion of indexation, but noted that the share of foreign manufacturers in the market for trucks over 14 tons now exceeds 40%. Kommersant’s interlocutor, close to the concern, says that companies from the PRC have already begun to “eat off” KamAZ’s share.
Dmitry Babansky from SBS Consulting states that Chinese players are now actively entering the truck market: “With fewer problems with supply chains, a more capacious domestic market and a weakening yuan, they can quickly bite off market share from Russian manufacturers.” At the same time, their products are interesting mainly due to the strengthening of the ruble, in contrast to the EU-7, where buyers still counted on the premium quality of equipment and service.