According to a report by Nikkei Asia, China has managed to overtake Japan as the world’s top exporter of new cars in the first quarter of 2023. Referring to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), exports grew by 58% from January to March to hit 1.07 million units.
By comparison, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) revealed Japan exported 950,000 vehicles during the same period, which represents a 6% year-on-year (YoY) increase. China is also the world’s largest market for new vehicles after surpassing the United States in 2009.
The Chinese government has also been pushing to expand its domestic electric vehicle (EV) industry through incentives. This initiative aided China’s rise as an automotive exporting power of electrified cars, and in Q1 2023, exports of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include EVs, climbed 93% YoY to 380,000 units.
Belgium, Australia and Thailand were the biggest importers of Chinese-made NEVs. By company, Tesla’s China arm was the top exporter of NEVs with 90,000 units, followed by SAIC Motor with 50,000 units and BYD at 30,000 units.
Meanwhile, Russia was the top export destination for all Chinese-made vehicles in Q1 2023 with 140,000 units, more than triple when compared to a year earlier. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Toyota, Volkswagen and other automakers shut down Russian factories and exited the market, with Chinese automakers filling the void.
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