China Surpassed Japan to Become World’s Largest Vehicle Exporter in Q1, 2023

With a total of 1.069 million vehicles exported in the first quarter of this calendar year, China for the first time surpassed Japan to become the top vehicle exporter in the world. In the first three months of 2023, Japan, which was formerly the world’s top exporter of vehicles, exported 1.047 million vehicles.

The feat comes hardly 6 months after China eclipsed Germany to become the world’s second-largest vehicle exporter in October 2022. SAIC Motor was the leading vehicle exporter followed by Chery, Tesla China, Changan, Geely, GWM, Dongfeng, JAC, BYD, and BAIC. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in April 2023 alone, the monthly export volume reached 376,000 units, a month-on-month increase of 3.3%, and a year-on-year increase of 170%.

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The top 10 destinations for Chinese exports in terms of export volume in the first quarter are Russia, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, Australia, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and South Korea.

Related: EVs Accelerate China’s Looming Dominance as a Car Exporter

Prior to 2020, China’s yearly automobile exports were essentially constant at roughly 1 million units. Then, in 2021, Chinese car exports climbed to over 2 million units, surpassing South Korea to claim third place in the world’s vehicle export rankings behind only Japan and Germany. And in 2022, China’s exports of automobiles overtook Germany for the first time and hit a new high of 3.11 million vehicles, making it the second-largest vehicle exporter in the world.

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By the end of this year, 4 million vehicles are expected to be dispatched from China, according to the Chinese Passenger Car Association. If this trend continues, China is quite likely to overtake Japan as the leading exporter of automobiles for the full year 2023.

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