In a groundbreaking development, the Chinese car industry is poised to surpass Japan and emerge as the world's largest auto exporter, according to the Chinese Passenger Car Association (CPCA). The CPCA reveals that prominent automakers like BYD Auto and Chery are experiencing a surge in overseas sales, contributing to a remarkable 62% increase in Chinese car exports, reaching a record-breaking 3.83 million vehicles.
While Japanese customs data showed car exports at 3.5 million for the first 11 months of the year, excluding used vehicles, China's total auto exports are estimated to have reached 5.26 million units in the past year. This significant achievement is attributed in part to the robust performance of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, with BYD surpassing Tesla as the world's leading EV seller.
However, concerns are emerging among some governments regarding the impact of Chinese auto exports on their domestic markets. The European Commission initiated an investigation in September into Chinese-made electric vehicles over potential subsidies, and the Biden administration is reportedly considering tax increases on certain Chinese goods, including EVs.
China's dominance in the auto export arena aligns with its status as the world's largest auto market, where vehicle sales increased by 5.3% last year. Notably, the sales of battery-powered vehicles in China rose by 20.8%, and hybrid sales surged by an impressive 82.5% in the same period.
Chinese-made cars are expected to constitute 63% of total sales in China this year, reflecting a remarkable 15.7% increase in sales last year. The competition is set to intensify, with non-traditional automotive players entering the arena. Popular smartphone maker Xiaomi recently unveiled its first electric vehicle and expressed ambitions to become one of the world's top five automakers.
In contrast, French auto brands faced challenges in the Chinese market, experiencing a 41% decline in sales for the first 11 months of the year. Japanese car sales dropped nearly 11%, while U.S. brands saw a 1.4% decline in sales last year. The shifting dynamics in the global auto industry underscore China's rising influence and competitiveness in the international automotive landscape.