BEIJING, April 17 (TMTPOST) —— The number of China’s automobile exports (including chassis) was 1.069 million units in the first quarter of 2023, with year-on-year growth of 58.3%, and the export value reached 147.47 billion yuan, up 96.6 percent year-on-year, according to recent data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The export of new energy vehicles grew faster than the growth of all car exports. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the export volume of new energy vehicles in the first quarter was 248,000 units, up 110% year-on-year. Tesla China, SAIC Passenger Cars and BYD were the top three new energy vehicle exporters in the first quarter, with exports of 92,000 units, 56,000 units and 39,000 units respectively, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
The top three destinations for China-made NEVs in the first quarter of 2023 were Belgium, Britain and Thailand, according to the GAC. An overseas insider of an independent brand car company explained that the above customs data was based on the port destination statistics. Antwerp-bruges is the largest auto-transfer hub in Europe, and most Chinese car companies choose to ship their vehicles to other parts of Europe via Belgium.
The growth rate of automobile export value was significantly higher than that of export quantity in the first quarter, indicating a rise in automobile export price. Data from Cui Dongshu, the Secretary-general of the CPCA, showed that the average export price of cars in 2022 was $18,000, compared with $16,000 in 2021, a 12.5 percent increase. Cui said that new energy vehicles were a major driver for China's auto exports, most of which went to Western Europe and Southeast Asia.
Xiong Chanxin, the head of the exhibition department of the commercial industry committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that a large number of Chinese companies may rush into Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand to open factories in the next three to five years. With the countries promoting the development of their own manufacturing, more policies will be introduced to limit the import of finished products.
Hozon Auto and BYD have already started production in Thailand. Hozon Auto announced the groundbreaking of its Thai factory in Bangkok in March 2023. The factory, Hozon Auto's first overseas operation, will have an annual production capacity of 20,000 units and is expected to begin production by the end of January 2024. 8,515 new energy vehicles were registered in Thailand in the first two months of 2023, with Chinese brand models accounting for more than 85% of the total.
Lin Jie, the founder of Huanshi Logistics, a foreign trade logistics company, said that exports of photovoltaic, energy storage batteries, new energy vehicles and fuel vehicles increased in the first quarter, while exports of other traditional light industrial products and furniture declined.
Auto parts exports also maintained growth. The export of auto parts in the first quarter was 143.83 billion yuan ($20.83 billion) according to the GAC, up 20.2 percent year on year. According to the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance, the cumulative export volume of power battery enterprises in the first quarter was 25.8GWh, accounting for 38% of the annual export volume in 2022.