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Foreign Auto Brands Account For 20% of China’s 2023 Exports

Tesla alone shipped some 344,000 EVs from its Shanghai plant, its biggest factory worldwide, to Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand last year

Tesla halts Shanghai production
A truck transports new Tesla cars from its factory in Shanghai. The company faces a recall of 127,000 cars to fix a problem linked to computer chips, Chinese officials have said. Photo: Reuters.


Foreign carmakers that have been losing out to local Chinese rivals have been boosting their exports from the world’s largest auto market, and accounted for more than a fifth of the country’s total vehicle exports last year, new data has revealed.

China is estimated to have overtaken Japan as the world’s largest auto exporter in 2023, thanks largely to the strength of nimble local companies such as Chery, SAIC, Geely and BYD.

But 18 foreign brands, led by Tesla, also exported 910,000 cars from China last year, accounting for 22% of the total 4.1 million units of China car exports, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.


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Tesla alone exported 344,000 EVs from its Shanghai plant, its biggest factory worldwide, to Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Ford Motor and General Motors were also among the biggest exporters, with their combined exports rising 21% from 2022.

Legacy foreign brands are now adjusting their China strategy to boost exports. Ford, for example, exported 69% of its Territory SUV, which was developed specifically for the China market, last year.

South Korea’s Kia Corp more than doubled its China exports last year to send the majority of its China car output outside the country. Japanese and German brands also boosted exports from China.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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