25 January 2024

Automotive - China dethroned Japan as world's top auto exporter in 2023

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Jan 9 (Reuters) – China is estimated to have overtaken Japan as the world’s largest auto exporter in 2023, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) reported as BYD, Chery and other domestic automakers made major strides overseas.

The world’s biggest auto market also became the top auto exporter for the first time in 2023, with the CPCA announcing at a press conference that exports of cars jumped 62% to a record 3.83 million vehicles. Japanese customs data showed passenger car exports at 3.5 million for the first 11 months of the year, excluding second-hand vehicles.

China’s total auto exports were estimated to hit 5.26 million units for the whole of last year valued at about $102 billion, while Japan’s full-year exports were forecast at about 4.3 million units, according to the association.

The numbers offer the latest indication of the global auto exports powerhouse that China has now become, riding largely on the strength of its nimble electric vehicle automakers. BYD overtook Tesla Inc as the world’s top seller of EVs in the fourth quarter, though based mostly on China sales.

The increasing Chinese clout overseas has caused consternation in some governments, who are fearful of the repercussions of that trend on their domestic automakers.

In September, the European Commission launched a probe into Chinese-made electric vehicles over subsidies they may have received, which was branded by Beijing as “protectionist”. The Biden administration in the United States is discussing raising tariffs on some Chinese goods including EVs, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

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