At a Glance: China, the World’s Second-Largest Automobile Exporter

According to data released by the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM) on October 11, China’s automobile export volume in September was 301,000 vehicles, up 73.9% year-on-year. Since August this year, the monthly export volume of Chinese automobiles has exceeded 300,000 vehicles. China exported 1.91 million vehicles in the first eight months of this year, surpassing Germany and second only to Japan, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.

In the first three quarters of this year, the export volume of automobiles exceeded that of the whole year of 2021, and the export value of automobile commodities was $100.2 billion, up 24.1% year-on-year. Among them, 389,000 NEVs were exported in the first three quarters, more than doubling year-on-year.

China keeps catching up with the largest exporter of automobiles. In 2012, Japan exported 4,802,000 vehicles, 3,786,900 more than China. By 2021, China’s automobile export volume reached 2.015 million vehicles, only 1,803,800 less than Japan.

Following analysis of public data, Chinese media outlet BKEconomy found that in the first three quarters of this year, SAIC exported the largest number of vehicles, accounting for about 30% of the total export volume, far exceeding other enterprises. Chery ranked second with total exports of 311,000 vehicles, compared to SAIC’s 610,000. The top ten exporting automakers also included Great Wall Motor, Dongfeng Motor, Tesla, and Geely.

The main export models include the MG ZS of SAIC, the Tiggo series, Exeed Lingyun, Jetour X70 of Chery Automobile, the cS series of Changan Automobile, the Model 3 of Tesla China, the Aeolus Yixuan of Dongfeng Motor, the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV, Binyue, Xingyue and Boyue of Geely, and the Dynasty series of BYD.

According to data released by CAAM, Mexico, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Belgium are the countries with the largest automobile imports from China, with the cumulative export volume exceeding 100,000 vehicles. In addition, Australia has become the fifth-largest importer of automobiles from China, with a cumulative export volume of 82,000 vehicles in the first eight months, and the number of complete vehicles exported by China to Britain has also reached 70,000.

According to data from the China Automobile Dealers Association, Asia, Europe and South America are the main export regions for China’s automobiles. Among them, Asia has always been the region with the highest proportion of China’s automobile exports, accounting for over 40% in 2019. However, the proportion of China’s automobile exports to Europe has greatly increased year-on-year – from 10% to 24% between 2019 to 2021. In 2021, among the major overseas markets of Chinese automobiles, South America had the largest export volume, reaching 392,000 vehicles, with a market share of 11.9%. It is worth mentioning that China’s automobile exports have the highest market share in Africa, reaching 18%.

In recent years, Chinese car brands have entered the European market in a high-profile manner, and BYD and other companies have also increased their expansion into other markets such as Japan.

SEE ALSO: Thailand Serves as First Stop for Chinese Car Firms in Southeast Asia

According to analysis by the China Passenger Car Association, the layout of overseas markets by many car companies is conducive to expanding market scale and stimulating the transformation and upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry. In 2014, the FAW South Africa Kuha Factory, the first self-operated overseas factory of FAW Group, was completed and put into operation. At the end of April this year, the factory’s 9,000th vehicle was completed, and it is expected to achieve a cumulative production and sales of 10,000 vehicles within this year. Great Wall Motor’s factory in Tula, Russia, was officially completed and put into production in 2019, becoming the first complete vehicle factory with four major processes among Chinese-brand automobile enterprises.