In recent years, China has emerged as a pivotal player in the global automotive industry, surpassing Japan to claim the title of the largest car exporter, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). The CPCA highlights a remarkable surge in car exports through China’s customs, underscoring the nation’s growing influence, notably exemplified by manufacturers like BYD.
While the precise number of cars exported to Japan and China remains uncertain, the CPCA estimates that a record-breaking 3.83 million light vehicles have been shipped from Chinese ports. Comparatively, Japanese car exports reached 3.5 million in the first eleven months of 2023, with projections indicating a total of 4.3 million vehicles shipped by the end of the year, encompassing not only cars but also trucks and buses. It is important to note that these figures are provisional, and final statistics are forthcoming. The data excludes second-hand car exports.
China’s ascendancy as the leading car exporter is underscored by the dispatch of approximately 5.26 million vehicles, nearly a million more than Japan. The export value of Chinese cars is estimated at approximately $102 billion. If accurate, these figures signify a notable 62 percent increase in exports of light vehicles, predominantly attributed to the rising prominence of electric cars.
While China’s export figures are indeed substantial, its domestic market remains even more formidable. In the preceding year, domestic sales of light vehicles witnessed a 5.3 percent increase, reaching a staggering 21.93 million cars. Despite the colossal size of the domestic market, numerous Chinese manufacturers are making significant inroads into the European automotive landscape.