With 3.22 million units shipped worldwide between January and August 2023, China has dethroned Japan as the world’s largest exporter. Electric vehicles have largely contributed to this result, and are making China an essential new automotive power.
The trend from the beginning of the year is confirmed. Japan is no longer the world’s leading exporter of cars. Having this title stolen by China is all the more symbolic. In just a few years, the historic rival of the Land of the Rising Sun has transformed its automobile industry to the point of becoming one of the largest producers in the world. Chinese manufacturers are taking their revenge on electricity. As of August 2023, China exported 436,000 units worldwide. This is 39% more than last year.
BYD has already sold more than a million electric and plug-in hybrid cars in 2023
After an exceptional first half, the Middle Kingdom reached 3.22 million exports between January and August 2023. An absolute record with a growth rate of 65%. China initially planned to deliver 4 million models outside its borders this year. It will definitely be a lot more. In 2021, automobile exports barely reached 2 million. In 2022, they increased to 3.4 million and this year we can expect a figure of between 4 and 5 million.
Interestingly, between January and August, the average price of cars exported by China increased by 11%. As a result, the total value of Chinese automobile exports increased by 85% during this period, compared to last year. The offensive of Chinese manufacturers in Russia and South America has contributed to the rapid growth of exports. Over the first eight months of 2023, 544,000 units were delivered to Russia (+664% year-on-year).
What future for Chinese models in Europe?
Electric vehicles have driven export growth upwards. They sell particularly well in Western European and Southeast Asian markets. Particularly in Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and Thailand. Other Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have also become important new markets for China, not necessarily for manufacturers specializing in electric vehicles.
The European Union’s position on Chinese electric cars is the subject of much discussion
In Europe, however, the future of Chinese brands is uncertain. The European Commission will investigate “government subsidies” granted by Beijing to Chinese manufacturers. Preliminary work which could lead to a tax on Chinese electric vehicles heading to Europe. A protectionist measure which worries the boss of Mercedes. Ola Kallenius advocates “ the opening of markets » and does not wish to exclude China from the global automobile industry.
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