China Overtake Japan as World’s Top Auto Exporter

China has emerged as the world’s leading auto exporter, surpassing Japan in the first quarter of the year. The growth in Chinese auto exports is attributed to the rising demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and the expansion of deliveries to Russia.  

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Chinese automobile exports surged by 58% to reach 1.07 million units during January to March. In comparison, Japan exported 950,000 vehicles, marking a 6% increase from the previous year. 

China’s dominance in the global auto export market can be attributed to its successful transition to electric vehicles. The country became the largest market for new vehicles in 2009, and the government played a crucial role in supporting the growth of the domestic EV industry. With incentives like purchasing and tax benefits, along with the development of charging infrastructure, China brought EVs into the mainstream.

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New energy vehicles, including EVs, accounted for approximately 40% of China’s overall auto exports. In the first quarter alone, exports of new energy vehicles rose by 93% to 380,000 units. Tesla’s China arm emerged as the top exporter of new energy vehicles, followed by SAIC Motor’s passenger vehicle unit and BYD

These exports were not limited to traditional markets, as China’s EVs found a significant market share in Belgium, Australia, Thailand, and other countries where Japanese automakers have traditionally dominated. Particularly, Russia played a crucial role in China auto export growth, especially after Japan and other global automakers such as Toyota and Volkswagen withdrew from the Russian market. Chinese automakers filled this void, with Chery Automobile and Great Wall Motor expanding their sales in Russia. 

Source : NIKKEI

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