Japan loses top spot as China becomes world’s leading car exporter.

China has overtaken Japan as the world’s largest exporter of automobiles in the first three months of 2022, according to official figures. China exported 1.07 million vehicles during the period, up 58% compared to the first quarter of 2021, while Japanese automobile exports increased 6% year-on-year to 954,185 units. The surge in China’s car exports was due to rising demand for electric vehicles and sales growth in Russia. China’s auto exports last year were 3.2 million, surpassing Germany’s 2.6 million, the General Administration of Customs of China reported.

China’s auto industry has been aided by the shift away from fossil fuels, driving the rise in new energy vehicles (NEVs) like EVs. NEV exports increased by over 90% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. China’s BYD, backed by Tesla’s China arm, and veteran investor Warren Buffett’s company, SAIC Motor (owner of the MG brand), are among the top NEV exporters in China. Tesla, with a major manufacturing plant in Shanghai, exports to Japan, Europe, and other regions, and plans to expand capacity further, building a Model Y SUV for export to Canada last month.

China’s exports to Russia also rose, with car prices surging amid Western trade sanctions on Moscow since the Ukraine conflict began. China’s Geely, Chery, and Great Wall brands have seen their market share surge in Russia after rivals Volkswagen and Toyota withdrew.

Leave a Reply