Japan is no longer the top global auto exporter, it's China

Japanese cars may still command a premium price over their Asian counterparts, but they are no longer the most exported models in the world.

Figures released today by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that China is now the world's top auto exporter after 1.07 million units were shipped all over the world between January to March of 2023. That represents a 58% increase from sales of Q1 in 2022.

China is now the world’s no.1 auto exporter image

As per the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Japan only exported 950,000 vehicles in the same quarter of this year, which is only a 6% increase from the same time last year.

China became the number two auto exporter last year - surpassing Germany’s 2.6 million exports - after sending 3.2 million vehicles to foreign markets around the world.

Sales to Russia and new energy vehicles (NEVs), which make up 40% of exported vehicles, are responsible for the growth of China vehicle exports. In fact, NEV exports went up by 90% this year compared to 2022. That is due in large part to demand for Tesla models, which are made in Elon Musk’s 1.25-million-capacity Gigafactory.

China is now the world’s no.1 auto exporter image

SAIC Motor models and passenger cars from BYD were also in high demand overseas. Countries that sought these models include Belgium, Australia, and Thailand.

The Russian market, meanwhile, is filling up with Geely, Chery, and Great Wall models after Toyota and Volkswagen pulled out at the start of the Ukraine invasion.

In the Philippines, China ranks third – behind Indonesia and Thailand – in the list of countries where we import vehicles and is ahead of Japan and Germany.