School Bus Demand Grows in China – Freedonia Group Trend Analysis

Global demand for school buses is projected to expand 3.6% annually to 66,800 units in 2023, slower than the 2013-2018 rate of increase and anticipated gains for the bus market overall. Weak school bus sales growth in the US and Canada – two of the world’s three largest school bus markets – will prevent the segment from registering stronger growth. According to analyst Gleb Mytko, “The growing use of nontraditional school buses like small motor coaches in a variety of countries – such as Brazil, India, and Russia – will also be a restraining factor”. High levels of demand for used models in many industrializing countries will supplant sales of new school buses to some extent.


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Despite growing at a subpar pace, the school bus segment is still projected to post significant gains between 2018 and 2023 because of two trends:

  • growing demand for school buses in China as the government addresses safety issues and expands student busing services
  • minor replacement demand gains in North America, the dominant geographic market for these products

Demand for all bus types collectivelyis forecast to grow 4.7% annually to 606,500 units in 2023, bringing the number of buses in use to 9.6 million units. Numerous trends are expected to contribute to gains, including:

  • advances in government spending on public transportation to expand transit services, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality
  • continued expansion of global tourism and private transportation
  • a shift from the use of conventional (diesel and gasoline) fuel to CNG/LNG, electric, and hybrid models in urban transit systems, which will prompt the early upgrade of bus fleets to achieve fuel cost savings


Please contact Corinne Gangloff at +1.440.684.9600 or for an interview with the analyst Gleb Mytko.