China became the world’s largest car exporter in the first quarter of 2023, Nikkei news outlet reported this week, citing data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
- According to the report, Chinese car exports in January-March soared by 58% against the same period in 2022, to 1.07 million units.
During this period, the former top exporter, Japan, sold 950,000 vehicles.
Data shows that the growth in China’s car exports was spurred by rising demand for electric vehicles and increased deliveries to Russia.
Exports of new energy vehicles, which include EVs, jumped 93% year on year to 380,000 units in the first quarter, and accounted for around 40% of China’s overall car exports.
Tesla’s China arm was the largest contributor in new energy vehicle exports, selling 90,000 units in the reporting period. Tesla’s first quarter exports from China grew 20% from a year earlier.
China’s exports to Russia more than tripled in the reporting period from a year earlier to 140,000 units, making Russia the top export destination for Chinese vehicles.
Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, a number of global automakers left the country due to Western sanctions, which jeopardized supply chains and made financial transactions with Russia problematic. Chinese automakers eagerly seized the opportunity to expand their presence in the Russian market.
Chinese auto exports continued to grow in the second quarter.
From January to April this year, the country’s car companies exported a total of 1.37 million vehicles. Last month, the export volume reached 376,000 units, a month-on-month increase of 3.3% and a year-on-year increase of 170%, data shows.
- Last year, China’s car export volume reached a record high of 3.11 million vehicles, which made the country the world’s second-largest car exporter after Japan. The China Passenger Car Association predicts that exports will reach 4 million in 2023.