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11 Jan, 2024 09:08

Car sales in Russia give China edge over Japan

Beijing became the world’s top car exporter in 2023, according to industry data
Car sales in Russia give China edge over Japan

China is estimated to have overtaken Japan as the world's largest car exporter for the first time in 2023, with sales driven by strong demand in Russia and growing global appetite for electric vehicles.

According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), overall auto exports (passenger cars, buses and trucks) jumped 56% from 2022, to reach $102 billion. Japan shipped just under four million vehicles during the first 11 months of 2023, according to the country’s most recent official data.

“It is a certainty that China has become the world’s largest exporter,” the CPCA said at a press conference on Tuesday.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, traditional gas-powered automobiles were the main driver of the increase, with “demand surging especially in Russia.”

Chinese carmakers have seized the void left in the Russian market by the departure of Western brands, “selling at least five times as many vehicles there last year than the 160,000 it sold in 2022,” the Journal wrote, citing CPCA data.

Chinese customs data shows that during the first 11 months of last year, vehicle shipments to Russia soared 545% compared to a year ago, to 840,000 units, making it the country's fastest growing export market. Chinese brands accounted for more than 90% of all Russian car imports in 2023, following the exodus of European, American, South Korean, and Japanese manufacturers.

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