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China forklift industry report 2020

Lucky Yue

Lucky Yue

Engaged in forklift industry since 2009

The year 2020 is far away from us. Looking back on the past year, it can be described as thrilling. At the beginning of 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the global economy was shut down, and all walks of life were in a slump, and the forklift industry was of course no exception.

However, since March, China’s forklift industry has begun to grow against the trend, suddenly emerging, rushing all the way to the end of the year, creating a new record in China’s forklift industry. So, what has happened in China’s forklift industry in the past 2020? and why there has been such a large increase?

forklift shipping

So it is very necessary to take stock of the keywords of China’s forklift industry in 2020 and make a simple analysis one by one.


Chinese forklift market-The first keyword: 800000

  No one could have imagined that in such an extraordinary year as 2020, it could successfully break through the 800,000 unit mark and cnce again created a new record in China’s forklift industry. 

  According to the full-year sales data for 2020 released by Industrial Vehicles Branch of the China Construction Machinery Industry Association, the total sales volume is as high as 800,239 units, and it continues to become the world’s number one forklift super manufacturer and sales country, and both domestic sales and exports have shown substantial growth.

  Compared the growth of sales volume of 608,341 units in 2019, there is an increase rate of 31.54%. Among them, domestic sales were 618,581 units, which compared with that of year 2019, 455,516 units, there is an increase rate of 35.80%. It has exceeded the total sales of the industry in 2019 and is worthy of in-depth analysis and thinking.  The export sales volume in 2020 was 181,658 units, an increase rate of 18.87% compared with 152,825 units in 2019.

  In the face of the new covid-19 epidemic and the extremely complex global situation, Chinese government has adopted extraordinary measures to make the domestic economy not so much affected by the epidemic. The impact is limited and the national economy recovers rapidly, which promotes the normal development of the forklift industry and also drives the simultaneous growth of domestic sales and exports. 

  Among them, the total sales volume of electric forklifts surpassed the sales volume of internal combustion forklifts for the first time in sales quantity, and it will inevitably become an important turning point in the development history of China’s forklift industry. Pls find the numbers below to help your further understanding.

Export & Domestic forklift sales volume

Year        Total


 Growth rate


608341 units


↑ 31.54%


800239 units

forklift Export sales volum

Year       Export


 Growth rate


152825 units


↑ 18.87%


181658 units

forklift Domestic sales volum

Year   Domestic


 Growth rate


455516 units


↑ 35.8%


618518 units

The second keyword: 200000

In 2020, for Anhui Heli and Hangcha Group, the two leading enterprises in China’s forklift industry, they are advancing all the way, and their sales have risen against the market.

The growth rate far exceeds the industry average. The sales volume reached a new height. The sales of the two companies, both sales volume exceeded the 200,000 units mark.

heli forklift

hangcha forklift

From the perspective of total sales volume, Anhui Heli and Hangcha Group accounted for 48% of the national forklift market share in 2019. In 2020, the competition between Heli and Hangcha has intensified. 

Through sharp price competition, squeezed the living space of small and medium-sized enterprises. Industry concentration has further increased, and Heli Hangcha’s market share has exceeded 55% in 2020. Heli, Hangcha, has made progress step by step, down-to-earth, and continuously broke its own highest records.

 It is expected that the sales of the two companies are expected to exceed 300,000 units in the next two years, and the combined sales account for the national market share to exceed 65%. In the forklift industry in China Form a pattern of duopoly

The third keyword: 150000

In 2020, the total sales of lithium battery forklifts in China’s forklift industry exceeded 150,000 units

fork focus electric forklift

Compared with the same period in 2019, the total sales growth rate exceeded 100%. Moreover, the growth rate of domestic sales and export volume all exceeded 100%, although the proportion of III electric vehicles is very high, close to 85%. 

However, it is undeniable that the sales growth of lithium battery forklifts has doubled each year in recent years, which can fully indicate that the practical application of lithium batteries in industrial vehicles has begun to enter large-scale stage. 

It is precisely because of the fierce market that more and more companies are involved in the production of lithium battery forklifts, and the types of models are also increasing. In particular, warehouse forklifts are widely used, and the end customers’ recognition of lithium battery forklifts is increasing. However, It is important to note that the quality of lithium battery products varies greatly, and it is recommended to be cautious in selecting suppliers.

 The general manager of BYD forklift Bi Guozhong has repeatedly emphasized in various conferences, “Lithium battery forklift is a system project, definitely not as simple as a battery.

” Lithium battery itself is still in the rapid development process, in order to achieve more ideal State, it is necessary to solve many challenges, such as energy density, power density, safety characteristics, cycle life, calendar life, self-discharge, fast charge performance, temperature range, resource environment, cost, etc.

 In the future, improving energy density, power density, and life is still the focus of research on battery development, and exploring how to achieve the practical application of lithium batteries in the forklift field at the lowest cost is the key factor that the forklift industry needs to overcome. 

Of course, safety must be the eternal topic of lithium batteries, no matter how good the performance of the battery, if there is no safety guarantee, it is a waste.

The fourth key word: Oil to electricity

Although oil-to-electricity conversion is not a new terminology, at the new product launch conference held by Zhongli Forklift in 2020, the concept of oil-to-electric forklifts was quickly pushed to the forefront. 

The oil-to-electricity conversion has since became a hot topic in China’s forklift industry. The so-called oil-to-electric forklift. Just as the name suggests, is to take out the fuel engine, gearbox, mechanical drive shaft and other structures on the basis of unchanged the internal combustion forklift structure, and then replace with electric motor, lithium battery pack, and electronic control system.

It has been transformed into a new energy electric forklift. This method is characterized in simple and rude, convenient and fast, low cost, and low research and development costs. It can help manufacturers to convert fuel forklifts in a low-cost way as quickly as possible. This is the oil-to-electric new energy forklift of Zhongli model.

  In addition, there is another new energy forklift on the market that forklift manufacture converts oil-to-electricity mode, by using external suppliers to provide overall oil-to-electricity technical solutions and core components, and quickly launch them to the market. 

New energy forklifts. It is undeniable that this transition from traditional internal combustion forklifts to new energy forklifts is the simplest and most practical technical solution. It can make full use of the very mature and reliable complete machine technology of internal combustion forklifts and the efficient, complete and low-cost supply chain system, quickly enter into new energy forklift field. 

  In addition to the advantages of very low cost, this solution does not require much research and development. Although the current oil-to-electricity schemes and levels of various manufacturers are not the same, the essence is the same, that is, power transplantation is carried out on the basis of fuel forklift.

 Although there will be detailed optimizations, it does not give full play to what the electrification system should have.

 It does not add any added value to the technology, and is essentially different from the pure electric platform specially developed. 

It is only a transitional product. According to incomplete statistics, in 2020, nearly 3,000 oil-to-electric forklifts sold in Chinese market.

***This artical is not originally wrote by FORK FOCUS, but translated from industry report in chinese to english. 

If you need the original chinese version, pls  let us know. 

***Warm warn Prompt: Pls feel free to comment below and pls on worry that we won’t and would never publish your mail address or send any marketing mails to you without your consent.

2 thoughts on “China forklift industry report 2020”

  1. Bom dia , preciso de valores das empilhadeiras de 3TON a diesel, 3,5 TON a diesel , e valores de empilhadeiras elétricas . E se tiver pá carregadeiras os valores .

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