China has surpassed Japan as the world’s largest car exporter, demonstrating the country’s staggering rise in the auto market.
According to the China Passenger Car Association, the country exported more than 3.8 million vehicles overseas in 2023, a 62% increase from the previous year, while Japanese automakers exported 3.5 million vehicles during the same period, according to customs data. Both sets of data exclude figures for used vehicles.
At the same time, domestic demand in China will rebound in 2023, with the electric vehicle sector driving the country’s strongest growth in several years, according to the car association. In the most recent quarter, Chinese Tesla rival BYD surpassed Elon Musk’s company as the world’s top EV seller.
The increase in demand has been largely driven by Russia, as Japanese and European automakers fled the country amid the Ukraine conflict. While the overall outlook for Chinese automakers appears positive, analysts are already warning that the year 2024 may be difficult as fierce competition threatens to wipe out weaker players.