Will China displace Japan as the world’s largest auto exporter in 2023?

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Jan 9 (Reuters) – China will overtake Japan as the world’s biggest auto exporter by 2023, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Tuesday, as BYD, Chery and other domestic automakers make big strides overseas.

One in five cars sold in Mexico in 2023 was Chinese.

The world’s largest auto market also became the largest exporter of automobiles for the first time in 2023.The CPCA announced at a press conference that vehicle exports increased by 62% to a record 3.83 million vehicles.

While Japanese customs data showed vehicle exports amounted to 3.5 million. in the first 11 months of the year, excluding used cars.

Total Chinese auto exports for all of last year were estimated at 5.26 million units, worth about $102 billion, while Japanese exports for the full year were forecast at about 4.3 million units, the association said.

The figures are the latest sign that China has become a global leader in car exports, thanks in large part to the strength of its flexible electric vehicle makers.. BYD overtook Tesla Inc. in the fourth quarter. and became the world’s No. 1 seller of electric vehicles, although its sales were primarily based in China.

China’s growing influence abroad has caused turmoil among some governments, which fear the impact of the trend on their domestic automakers.

In September, the European Commission launched an investigation into electric vehicles made in China over subsidies they may have received, which Beijing called “protectionist.”

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that US President Joe Biden’s administration was exploring tariffs on some Chinese products, including electric vehicles.

The Chinese vehicles are being assembled at Yantai Port for delivery on January 8, 2024.  (Future publication via Getty)The Chinese vehicles are being assembled at Yantai Port for delivery on January 8, 2024.  (Future publication via Getty)

The Chinese vehicles are being assembled at Yantai Port for delivery on January 8, 2024. (Future publication via Getty) (Future publication via Getty Images)

China Customs will release trade data for December on Friday.

Tesla, which exported 344,078 Chinese-made electric vehicles, also contributed to the export boom.

National market

China’s domestic auto market, the world’s largest, will boom in 2023, with vehicle sales rising 5.3% to 21.93 million for the third year in a row amid a brutal price war. as automakers tried to appeal to consumers concerned about a faltering economic recovery.

Sales of pure battery-powered vehicles in China rose 20.8% last year after rising 74.2% in 2022. Sales of plug-in hybrids, which are more affordable than pure electric vehicles, rose 82.5% last year after rising 160.5% annually. previously.

The share of domestic brands in China’s total sales is expected to continue rising to 63% in 2024 from 56% last year, driven by stronger brand awareness in the electric vehicle segment and rapid electrification of the industry, UBS auto analyst Paul Gong said during a roundtable discussion dedicated to Tuesday.

BYD, which is 7.98% owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has been aggressively expanding its operations in Southeast Asia and Europe. although most of its supply is to China, where it drives sales with strong dealer incentives.

However, Tesla operates more efficiently in China, selling many more cars per store than BYD.

French car brands have lost the most ground in China this year, with sales down 41%., based on data for the first 11 months of the year. Sales of Japanese cars fell by 10.7%, American brands – by 1.4%.

In contrast, sales of German cars increased by 2.5%, and Chinese ones by 15.7%.

Competition is expected to continue to intensify.

Popular Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi unveiled its first electric car last month and announced its intention to become one of the world’s top five automakers.

(Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Zhang Yan and Brenda Guo; Additional reporting by Daniel Leussink in Tokyo; Editing in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)


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