China Topples Japan as World’s Leading Car Exporter for the First Half of 2023: Top Ten Chinese Car Exporters
In a recent turn of events, China has overtaken Japan for the second consecutive quarter to emerge as the world’s largest car exporter in the first half of 2023.
According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), China exported 2.341 million vehicles in H1 2023, marking an impressive YoY growth of 76.9%. This translates to an export value of $46.42 billion, surging up by 110% YoY. In comparison, data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association indicates that Japan’s car exports for the same period stood at 2.02 million units, with a growth rate of 17% YoY.
Xu Haidong, Deputy Chief Engineer at CAAM, forecasts China’s car exports to touch approximately 4 million units this year. With Japan apprehensive about losing more market share, Angela Zutavern, Managing Director at AlixPartners, opined that post-2025, Chinese car manufacturers could potentially gain significant share in key Japanese export markets, including the US.
Cui Dongshu, Secretary-General of the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), attributes this surge in China’s car exports to enhanced product competitiveness, inroads into European and American markets, and the comprehensive replacement of international brands by Chinese cars in the Russian market amidst the Russo-Ukraine crisis.
From a brand perspective, the top ten Chinese car exporters were SAIC Motor, Chery Automobile, Changan Automobile, Great Wall Motors, Geely Auto, Dongfeng Motor, BYD Auto, and BAIC Group.
Except for Dongfeng, all witnessed growth. SAIC Motor led the charts, exporting 533,000 units, up 40% YoY, predominantly credited to its MG brand, which recorded a global sales figure of 370,000 units.
Notably, BYD exhibited the fastest growth, skyrocketing by a whopping 10.6 times YoY, while Chery and Great Wall also showcased doubled growth.
Pure electric vehicles (EVs) now dominate China’s export mix, outpacing traditional cars. New energy vehicles have become a major export force for China. This shift gets validation from Fang Yinliang, a global partner at McKinsey, who observed that Chinese automakers have entered a golden phase in overseas markets. He emphasized Europe’s burgeoning demand for new energy vehicles, which local manufacturers might not fully cater to in the next 2-3 years.
Chinese car brands are seizing this opportunity to expand their new energy vehicle exports. Geely’s new energy brand, Ji Ke, despite being just a year old, has already marked its territory in Europe. Similarly, Chery’s Jetour brand has established a sales and service network across more than 30 countries, including regions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific.
A noteworthy trend is the 110% YoY rise in the total export value to $46.42 billion in H1 2023. This indicates an increase in the average export price of vehicles. In 2022, for instance, the average price of an EV stood at $25,800, while that of other vehicles remained around $12,000. The rise in EV sales has significantly propelled both volume and value of China’s car exports.
Data from the Ministry of Commerce further underlines this, revealing that, in the first four months of 2023, new energy vehicle exports accounted for 42.9% of the total export value, contributing to a whopping 51.6% of the growth rate. Sun Xiaohong, Secretary-General of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products’ Automotive Branch, has projected that China’s car exports might surpass the $80 billion milestone in 2023.