China overtook Japan as the world’s top exporter of automobiles in the first quarter of 2023. Nikkei, Japanese newspaper, reported the news quoting the information from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
In comparison to the same period in 2022, Chinese auto exports from January to March increased by 58% to 1.07 million units. Japan, which previously ranked first in exports, sold 950,000 vehicles during this period. With sales of 90,000 units during 2023, Tesla’s China division was the largest contributor to the export of new energy vehicles. Tesla’s first quarter exports to China increased by 20%, when compared to 2022.
According to data, greater demand for electric vehicles and increased deliveries to Russia were the main drivers of China’s growth in auto exports. In the first quarter, exports of new energy vehicles or plug-in electric vehicles, which include electric cars (EVs), increased 93% year over year to 380,000 units, making up over 40% of China’s entire car exports.
Russia is now China’s largest export market for autos after exports to world’s largest country more than tripled to 140,000 units during the first quarter of 2023 from the same period in 2022. Due to Western sanctions imposed after Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine began, a number of major automakers from around the world departed the nation, endangering supply networks and complicating financial operations with Russia. Chinese automakers jumped at the chance to increase their market share in Russia.
In the second quarter, Chinese vehicle exports increased again. The country’s automakers exported a total of 1.37 million vehicles from January to April 2023. According to data, the export volume last month reached 376,000 units, a rise of 3.3% from the previous month and a 170% increase from the previous year.
After Japan, China was the second-largest car exporter in the world in 2017 with a record-breaking 3.11 million automobile exports. According to the China Passenger Car Association, 4 million passenger vehicles will be exported in 2023.