China has overtaken Japan as the world's largest car exporter in 2023, thanks to its fleet of electric vehicle manufacturing companies, according to data published by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) on Wednesday.
Japanese companies exported 4.42 million cars, trucks, and buses in 2023, marking a 16% increase, as per JAMA's report.
In contrast, Chinese car exports reached 4.91 million units last year, representing a substantial 57.9% increase, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), and 5.22 million units according to Chinese customs data, with a 57% increase. These figures were released earlier this month.
Japan has been the world's largest car exporter since 2017.
However, China's lead over Japan remains relative because Japanese companies produce a significant number of vehicles abroad (17 million units in 2022), which is double the number of vehicles produced domestically in the Japanese archipelago.
In contrast, Chinese companies have relatively few overseas factories.
China is expected to make further progress in this regard, with the Chinese electric vehicle conglomerate "BYD Auto" becoming the global leader in this field, surpassing the American company Tesla in the fourth quarter of 2023. BYD Auto is rapidly expanding its production overseas as well.
At the end of December, the group announced the construction of a factory in Hungary to target the European market, and it has similar projects in other parts of the world, from Southeast Asia to Brazil.