How has CIMC Vehicles been Transformed from a Newcomer of the Industry to the Global Leader


A strong brand equals strong enterprise, and strong enterprises contribute to strong nations. Brand is the embodiment of the comprehensive core competitiveness of enterprises and even nations. Brand represents the reputation and image of a nation. In recent years, with the strengthening of brand building in China, an increasing number of Chinese enterprises have enhanced their brand awareness; they are committed to playing a leading role in brand economy and telling good brand stories.?

Since entering the semi-trailer industry in 2002, CIMC Vehicles has experienced 20 years of ups and downs, from its foothold in China to its global operation, from a newcomer in the industry to agloball eaderin sophisticated manufacturing of semi-trailers and specialty vehicles. Seemingly, its decades of endurance highlights: how CIMC Vehicles’ brand has been raised?



The development of the logistics industry must rely on the suppor t of logistics equipment. As the “main force” of domestic cargo transportation, the development of semi-trailer directly affects the efficiency of road transportation. According to China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing announced data in 2021, the road freight volume in China increased by 14.2% on a yearon-year basis to 39.14 billion tons, and the turnover of freight increased by 14.8% on a year-on-year basis to 6.9 trillion ton-kilometers in 2021. According to the data published by the National Development and Reform Commission, the total value of logistics goods in China reached RMB335.2 trillion in 2021, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.2%. It may suggest that the strong demand for logistics and transportation in China drives the continuous unleashing of the semi-trailer market in China.?

Yet, compared with the mature and highly concentrated semi-trailer market in North America and Europe, China’s semi-trailer market is in the stage of development, with a low degree of specialization, immature market, low concentration, and relatively dispersed supply side.


The manufacturing industry prosper nations and brands contribute to nations. It is obvious that under the current transformation and upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry, high-end manufacturing brands are indispensable for the rise of China’s semitrailer market. Since entering the semi-trailer industry in 2002, CIMC Vehicles has always been committed to promoting the highquality development of the road transport equipment industry. With its leading business advantages, technological advantages and outstanding brand influence, CIMC Vehicles ranked first in the world in semitrailer business in 2013. Since then, it has secured the global champion of the semitrailer business and has become one of the representatives of Chinese manufacturing brands in the world.

Looking back on the establishment and development of the CIMC Vehicles brand, it was created by CIMC Group. The CIMC Vehicles brand was integrated into the highly market-oriented and internationalized genes in its inception. As early as the Chinese New Year of 1999, Mr. Mai Boliang, the president of CIMC Group, happened to find a van trailer with a highly similar appearance to a container during his vacation in Australia. It is like a “container with wheels” with a beautiful a p p e a ra n ce a n d h i g h t ra n s p o r t at i o n efficiency. Thinking of the current situation of China’s inefficient and backward inland logistics industry at that time and combining?with CIMC Group’s own development strategy of “providing equipment and services for modern transportation”, Mr. Mai Boliang was determined to develop the semi-trailer industry, replicate the successful experience of the container industry to the new industry, and promote the comprehensive upgrading of China’s logistics vehicles.

After several years of technical research and development, CIMC Vehicles began to develop its business in 2002. In the same year, CIMC Vehicles held the “CIMC Vehicles Semitrailer and Van Semi-trailer Product Launch Conference” in Shekou, Shenzhen, marking the official launch of the semi-trailer business. The products launched at the conference were not only semi-trailer products for the Chinese market, but there were also mainly container chassis trailers as well as curtain-side trailers for the Australian market. The positioning of CIMC Vehicles’ semi-trailer business is to base itself on China and face the whole world.

After 20 years of expansion and accumulation, CIMC Vehicles has accumulated a strong brand advantage. In the Chinese market, CIMC Vehicles operates brands such as ““Tonghua”, “Huajun”, “SCVC SAILING”, “Ruijiang Tanker” and “Lingyu Vehicles”, “Liangshan Dongyue”, “Pioneer Series”, “CIMC Vehicles Light Tower” and “TB”. In the overseas market, in North America, CIMC Vehicles operates local brands such as “Vanguard” and “CIE”; in Europe, CIMC Vehicles operates two local brands with a long history, namely “SDC” and “LAG”.


A boat sailing against the current must forge ahead or it will be driven back. If an enterprise wants to have a long-term development, it is crucial for it to keep up with the development needs of the times. CIMC Vehicles, which have always maintained its innovative vitality, foresaw that the traditional manufacturing industry urgently needed to be transformed and upgraded. The Company first explored the construction of Sophisticated Manufacturing System, built?“Light Tower” Plants, and upgraded the “Light Tower” Plants as planned in the future, to give full play to the effectiveness of the “Light Tower Manufacturing Network”, which not only promotes the six major businesses or groups, but also keep injecting vitality into its global sophisticated manufacturing brand of semi-trailer and specialty vehicles.


To CIMC Vehicles, the process from catching up to surpassing means experiencing from successful establishment of the business from scratch to making significant achievement in business”. CIMC Vehicles has transformed from a newcomer of the industry to the global leader in the semi-trailer industry. It never says empty words, but “aggressive” and step by step actions.

Twenty years ago, the specialty vehicles production base in Shenzhen, the first factory, was yet to established. At that time, to complete the research and development of all products, CIMC Vehicles borrowed an uncovered maintenance workshop in Southern Shekou. Amid the SARS in 2003, with good customer relationships with the shipping company, CIMC Vehicles successfully obtained orders for 13,000 container transportation semi-trailers from Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company. This is also the single largest order for semi-trailers in China so far, marking the successful entry of semi-trailer products of CIMC Vehicles into the international market.

At that time, the vehicles by CIMC Vehicles for Maersk Line were manufactured in domestic factories. As even the license plates were affixed onto the vehicles, they could be driven immediately after arriving in the United States. This was an unprecedented?and pioneering exploration attempt. But the founding team of CIMC Vehicles did it. It was the team with intercontinental management ability and vision that contributed to the emergence of the Company which achieved dual “A+H” listing status with an annual revenue of around RMB30 billion.

Over the next few years, with the rapid development of China’s economy, China’s semi-trailer industry gradually became one of the three core markets in the world, along with North America and Europe. During the same period, CIMC Vehicles seized the opportunity of a rapid growth economy in China and gradually formed a competitive advantage in the Chinese market. At the same time, CIMC Vehicles has actively expanded in the overseas markets. It completed the acquisition of Vanguard, a famous semi-trailer brand in the North American market, and semi-trailer brands such as SDC and LAG, in Europe, and achieved rapid growth in overseas business.

At present, CIMC Vehicles has completed the mergers and acquisitions and multibrand layout worldwide. It has achieved full coverage of semi-trailers, specialty vehicles, van trucks bodies and refrigerated trucks bodies. The businesses cover four major markets and more than 40 countries in the world, with 23 production plants and 10 assembly plants in the world. CIMC Vehicles has ranked first globally for semi-trailers for nine consecutive years.


The purpose of being enterprising is simply wanting to surpass. In 2021, according to the actual operational and strategic management needs, CIMC Vehicles established six major businesses or groups: “Champion Tanker Business Group”, “Light Tower Pioneer Business”, “TB Business Group”, “Urban Dump Truck Business”, “North American Business” and “European Business”, with the aim of achieving the long-term goal of removal of barriers in operation, linkage between production and sales, information sharing?and professional support, and carrying out all-round management covering strategy, operation and coordinated development, and further increasing its shares in the market segments in China, and developing competitive advantages for seven overseas major categories of semi-trailers in the North American market and the European market, thus further enhancing the leading position in the world. In 2021, CIMC Vehicles ranked third in the refrigerated trailer market of North America; SDC, a subsidiary of CIMC Vehicles in Europe, ranked first in the market of the United Kingdom, with its market share increasing to approximately 27.5%. In the first quarter of 2022, the performance of the overseas market was still excellent. Among which, North American Business of the Group achieved brilliant growth with a significant year-on-year increase of 108.8% in revenue.European Business of the Group achieved a steady increase in sales volume and revenue.

As times go by, only the leader can create a new chapter. While making continuous breakthroughs in business, CIMC Vehicles is constantly forging ahead in digital design and production, keeping pace with the times, and striving to build an advanced manufacturing system that is ahead of the industry in the future. That is how CIMC Vehicles began exploring the “Light Tower Project”. At the initial stage of the project, it has explored the production mode of automation and digitalization. It has introduced advanced information control system theory from Siemens, Ingenico AG and other companies in Germany to further study and comprehend. This exploration is both visionar y and pragmatic. Suggested by its name, “Light?Tower” Plants guide the way forward for CIMC Vehicles, takes the lead in opening the curtain of CIMC Vehicles’ construction o f t h e S o p h i s t i c a t e d M a n u f a c t u r i n g System. At present, “Light Tower” Plants represent the highest standard of intelligent manufacturing and digitalization in the global manufacturing industr y. At the beginning of 2015, the first “Light Tower” Plant of CIMC Vehicles was established in Dongguan; in 2018, the digitized production lines of Yangzhou CIMC Tong Hua Special Vehicles Co., Ltd.’s Super Magellan Plan was put into production in Yangzhou; in 2019, the Super Magellan Project of Yangzhou CIMC Tong Hua Special Vehicles Co., Ltd. Was accepted and concluded by the expert group, marking the success of the exploration and research of CIMC Vehicles’ digital plants.

As a new generation of production system, the “Light Tower ” Plants have led to a comprehensive innovation in the production mode of CIMC Vehicles and even of the industry in the sense that it has developed from traditional labor-intensive production to more automated modular, intelligent and environmental – friendly production. As of now, CIMC Vehicles has globally established 13 “Light Tower” Plants to produce semitrailers, 7 “Light Tower ” Plants for the production of truck bodies of specialty vehicles, and 2 “Light Tower” Plants for the production of lightweight van truck bodies.

In addition, after years of unremitting efforts, CIMC Vehicles has set a new benchmark for green environmental protection in the industry. Four subsidiaries of the Company have won the title of National “Green Plant”. Two subsidiaries have won the title?of Provincial “Green Plant”. In addition, a subsidiary was honored as the National Green Supply Chain Demonstration Enterprise, and another one was honored as the Provincial Green Supply Chain Management Demonstration Enterprise.

In the current era, uncertainty is ubiquitous and normalized. The epidemic crisis has become an accelerator for enterprises t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e o r e n h a n c e t h e i r competitiveness, but transformation remains the main theme of the times. In the future, CIMC Vehicles will continue to maintain vigorous creativity. With the help of breaking point, it will also release greater advantages and long-suppressed potentials, actively create space for profit growth and strategic maneuver, and abandon or adopt what we want freely to turn a passive situation into an active one.


In face of the current global and competitive market economy, a correct business model is essential for the manufacturing industry. From investment in mainland China to the establishment of the global operation system, from industry newcomers to the global leader of the industry, CIMC Vehicles embarked its journey under highly forwardlooking and flexible business philosophy, which is the greatest secret.?

From 2002 to 2010, CIMC Vehicles established the semi-trailer business, rapidly acquired several star enterprises in China’s semitrailer industry, including Yangzhou Tonghua Company, Zhumadian Huajun Company, Shandong CIMC Vehicles (Ji’nan Kaogeer Company), Wuhu Ruijiang Company and Luoyang Lingyu Company. It has emerged as a new force in China’s semi-trailer industry and gained a leading position.

From 2010 to 2016, CIMC Vehicles promoted the growth of semi-trailer business in the North American and European markets. It completed the acquisition of Vanguard, a well-known semi-trailer brand in the North American market, as well as SDC and LAG brands in Europe.

With the business philosophy of “Global Operation, Local Knowledge”, and cross-over designs, intercontinental manufacturing and global supply chain management, CIMC Vehicles has established a global production base and sales network in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, forming a global business pattern, and has made remarkable achievements in the industry worldwide.

With the business philosophy of “Global Operation, Local Knowledge”, and cross-over designs, intercontinental manufacturing and global supply chain management, CIMC Vehicles has established a global production base and sales network in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, forming a global business pattern, and has made remarkable achievements in the industry worldwide.

In 2018, to effectively cope with the impact of global trade headwinds, CIMC Vehicles changed its business philosophy from “Global Operation, Local K nowledge” to “I ntercontinental Operation, Local Manufacturing”. In the new stage, CIMC Vehicles put more emphasis on “Local Manufacturing”. In order to develop in the local markets for a long time, it has increased its investment in local manufacturing, improved the manufacturing capacity of overseas plants, and cultivated and incubated localized brands, so as to avoid the impact of global trade frictions on the company in a reasonable manner and enhance its development resilience under the new normal global economy.

The “Polar Bear Project” is a typical case. In August 2019, CIMC Vehicles launched the investment plan of the “Polar Bear Project” to further increase the market share in the North American refrigerated semi-trailer market in response to the impact of global geopolitics. Specifically, the project is to?build a North American refrigerated semitrailer manufacturing plant in Monon, Indiana, USA. In January 2021, the first new vehicle of the new plant of the Polar Bear Project was launched and was officially put into production. The new plant adopted the “Light Tower” Plant production mode, which greatly improved production efficiency and utilization rate of raw material, optimized quality of product and service, and further optimized the layout of Intercontinental Operation. In 2021, the revenue of CIMC Vehicles from refrigerated trailers in North America increased significantly by 122.3% to RMB1,516.2 million, ranking third in the refrigerated trailer market of North America.


At present, facing the new situation of globalization, CIMC Vehicles will deepen the business model of “Intercontinental Operation, Local Manufacturing” through the Sophisticated Manufacturing System, and maximize the production capacity, assembly capacity and global supply chain management capacity of 23 production?plants and 10 assembly plants in the world. CIMC Vehicles currently have formed a transcontinental operation structure with core competitiveness.

As the market space is broad and the prospect of industry development is good, it is time for the leading brand to grow stronger. Chinese brands should further integrate into the new development pattern of “The Domestic and International Dual Circulation”. They should also take opening up the international market as a new opportunity for their own development and promote highquality economic development by overseas layout. CIMC Vehicles will firmly adhere to its original intention, conduct business in the global market, seize opportunities from global businesses, open up a new crossocean business territory, lead the new development trend of the global commercial vehicle industry with world-class quality, lead Chinese enterprises to the world, highlight the strength of major Chinese brands so that the name of China shines in the world.