According to a trade group on Thursday, China’s vehicle exports increased by 63.7% in 2023 while domestic sales increased 4.2% thanks to year-end incentives.
As China’s economy weakens, Chinese automakers have aggressively increased their exports in an attempt to get the growth they lack at home. Even though total car sales have stagnated, they have also pushed for electric vehicles, with China becoming the world’s largest EV market thanks to government incentives.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of automobiles in China reached 21.9 million units last year, while exports increased to 4.1 million units. Domestic sales have decreased since they peaked in 2017 at over 24 million.
China may surpass Japan as the world’s top auto exporter as a result of the export boom. In the first 11 months of the year, Japan shipped 3.6 million cars; a final total is anticipated on January 31.
China’s exports increased in 2023 as a result of a surge in sales to Russia, while European and Japanese manufacturers withdrew due to the conflict in Ukraine. In the first eleven months of last year, China shipped 840,000 vehicles—including cars, trucks, and buses—to Russia.
Earlier this week, the China Passenger Car Association stated that future export growth will depend on an increase of EV sales overseas. The association also noted that demand in Russia and surrounding countries is slowing down. Australia, Europe, and Southeast Asia are just a few of the regions that Chinese EV manufacturers have targeted.
Although the manufacturers’ association does not break down sales of electric cars, statistics from the passenger car association indicates that in 2023, electric cars made up 24% of all new car sales in China, up from 12% in 2021. Last year, the percentage of new-energy vehicles in overall sales—including hybrids—reached 36%.