Chinese vehicles hitting roads worldwide

Release time:2023-05-10 Publisher:South Asia Development

China-made vehicles are gaining popularity overseas, with the value of the country's auto exports in the first four months more than doubling year-on-year, said the General Administration of Customs on Tuesday.

Some 204.5 billion yuan ($29.52 billion) worth of vehicles were shipped from Chinese ports between January and April, up 120.3 percent from the same period last year. The General Administration of Customs did not release vehicle export volume over the period.

In the first quarter, automakers exported 994,000 vehicles, up 70.6 percent year-on-year, with Belgium, Mexico and Saudi Arabia top destinations, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

China's vehicle exports have been on the rise for years, with shipments reaching 3.11 million units last year to overtake Germany as the world's No 2 vehicle exporter, behind only Japan, said the General Administration of Customs.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, said prospects for China's exports are bright, especially for its new energy vehicles, thanks to the nation's leading position in the segment.

The CPCA said 300,000 passenger vehicles, including knock-down kits, were exported in April from China, up 227 percent year-on-year, of which NEVs accounted for roughly 30 percent.

Total passenger car exports totaled 1.08 million units from January to April, up 115 percent year-on-year.

Great Wall Motors, China's largest SUV and pickup truck maker, saw its overseas sales reach 21,814 units in April, up 182.09 percent year-on-year, accounting for 23.43 percent of its total deliveries for the month.

The Hebei province-based automaker said it inked cooperation deals with dealerships from dozens of countries at the Shanghai auto show held in April, which further expanded its global reach.

In April, Great Wall Motors launched new energy models in the Philippines and Brazil. The company said it will enter other markets including Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam later this year.

SAIC Motor exported 89,643 vehicles in April, bringing the total for the first four months to 346,696 units — up 64.99 percent from the January-April 2022 period.

SAIC, China's largest vehicle maker and exporter by sales, expects its total exports to hit 1.2 million units this year, up from 1.02 million units in 2022, with Europe, the Middle East and Mexico among its major markets.

Zhao Aimin, vice-president of SAIC International, said one important factor behind SAIC's success in overseas markets is the offer of competitive products based on an understanding of local customer needs.

Zhao gave the example of the company's MG4 EV electric hatchback, launched in 2022, which is its first model developed with global markets in mind.

It has won top ratings in new car quality programs across different regions, including the extremely strict European New Car Assessment Program.

Oliver Blume, CEO of Germany's Volkswagen Group, said there is opportunity for Chinese brands to be successful "not only in China but also worldwide in the future".

"It's still a long way to go but some Chinese automotive brands already have very competitive products," said Blume at the Shanghai auto show in April.