China has overtaken Japan as the world’s largest car exporter

The founder and co-owner of the world's most valuable carmaker, Elon Musk, has called for cost-saving measures.

China has overtaken Japan as the world’s largest car exporter. In the first quarter, China exported 1.07 million cars, up 58 percent year-on-year, according to official statistics released last week. A total of 954,185 cars went from Japan to world markets, up six per cent on the same period last year, the BBC news website reported. Chinese exports were boosted by demand for electric cars and sales to Russia.

Last year, China overtook Germany to become the world’s second largest exporter of cars. According to China’s General Administration of Customs, China exported about 3.2 million vehicles in 2022, while Germany exported 2.6 million vehicles.

The rise of China’s automotive industry has helped fuel a shift away from fossil fuels. Exports of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include electric vehicles, rose more than 90 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous year.

Gigafactory for Tesla

China’s biggest NEV exporters include the Chinese arm of US company Tesla, SAIC, owner of the MG brand, and the BYD fima, which is backed by US investor Warren Buffett.

Tesla has a huge manufacturing plant in Shanghai that exports to regions including Japan and Europe. Tesla’s giant factory, called the gigafactory, is currently capable of producing 1.25 million vehicles a year, and the company plans to further increase capacity. Last month, it began producing Model Y sport-utility vehicles for export to Canada.

Exports to Russia are growing

China has also seen a sharp rise in exports to Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine, when Western countries imposed trade sanctions on Moscow. Last year, Chinese carmakers – including Geely, Chery and Great Wall – reported a jump in their share of the Russian market after competitors including Germany’s Volkswagen and Japan’s Toyota left the country following the invasion of Ukraine.

Source: ČTK


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