CHINA says it has become the world’s biggest exporter of cars after overtaking Japan in the first three months of the year. Official figures show China exported 1.07 million vehicles in the period, up 58 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2022.
At the same time Japan’s vehicle exports stood at 954,185, after edging up 6pc from a year earlier. China’s exports were boosted by demand for electric cars and sales to Russia.
Last year, China overtook Germany to become the world’s second largest car exporter. According to China’s General Administration of Customs, China exported 3.2m vehicles in 2022, compared to Germany’s 2.6m vehicle exports.
The shift away from fossil fuels has helped fuel the rise of China’s motor industry. First quarter exports of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which includes electric cars, rose by more than 90pc, compared to a year earlier.
Tesla’s China arm, SAIC – the owner of the MG brand – and BYD, which is backed by veteran US investor Warren Buffett, are among China’s top exporters of NEVs. Elon Musk’s electric carmaker has a huge manufacturing plant in Shanghai which exports to regions including Japan and Europe.