China Overtakes Japan As World’s Top Car Exporter


Between January and March 2023, China surpassed Japan and Germany to become the world’s largest vehicle exporter for the first time, exporting a total of 1.069 million vehicles.

 Japan used to be the world’s leading vehicle exporter, exporting 1.047 million vehicles in the first quarter of this year

Tesla China, SAIC, Chery, Geely, Great Wall Motors, Changan, and BYD are among the biggest contributors to Chinese vehicle exports. Currently, SAIC is the largest Chinese vehicle exporter with its MG brand contributing the most to this stellar performance.

 For every three cars exported, one is made by SAIC. On the contrary, it is surprising that BYD only came in 9th with only 58,000 units.

In terms of export volume in the first quarter, the top ten countries that China exports to are Russia, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, Australia, Germany, United Arab Emirates, and South Korea, according to the Chinese General Administration of Customs.


Agency reports indicates that the shift to electrics has fueled China’s rise as an auto exporting power.

First quarter exports of new energy vehicles, which include EVs, soared 93% on the year to 380,000 units. New energy vehicles accounted for roughly 40% of China’s overall auto exports.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen and other global automakers shut down Russian factories and pulled out of the market. Chinese automakers filled that vacuum.

Chery Automobile and Great Wall Motor in particular have expanded sales in Russia. Chery Automobile is funded by entities linked to Chinese municipal governments.

China exported nearly 30,000 trucks — which could be used for military purposes — to Russia in the first quarter, almost seven times the volume from a year earlier. After Russia, the leading export destinations in order are Mexico, Belgium and Saudi Arabia.

Tesla has positioned the Shanghai Gigafactory as an export hub for vehicles bound for Europe and Japan, among other markets. Tesla’s first quarter exports from China grew 20% from a year earlier.

When Shanghai’s Gigafactory began operations in 2019, the facility had the capacity to make 250,000 vehicles annually. Now the factory is able to produce 1.25 million units a year, and has applied for permits to increase capacity to 1.75 million units, according to media reports.Table is courtesy Carnewschina.