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Outshining the ‘Rising Sun’

Outshining the ‘Rising Sun’

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

China on pace to be the world’s biggest auto exporter in 2023; set to overtake Japan


220,000 square-meter Canton Fair Complex in Haizhu District

GUANGZHOU, China — The Chinese car industry is booming. Aside from being the biggest global market for both car sales and manufacturing, not to mention electric vehicle purchases, the world’s ‘Red Dragon’ is also set to overtake Japan in exports this year, a reign the latter has held for the longest time.

Earlier this June, China already surpassed Japan with about 2.32 million vehicles exported, compared to the latter’s 2.02 million. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the country’s exports skyrocketed by 77 percent during the first six months of the year, compared to the same period in 2022.

In the four months that followed, the export volume raked in a year-on-year growth of 59.7 percent to 3.92 million units.

Included here were new energy vehicles, such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell cars, which, according to CAAM, more than doubled, accounting to 25 percent of the country’s total car exports.

NEV exports soared 110 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2023. Here, a total of 727,000 NEVs were exported during the period.

2023 Guangzhou Auto Show

Motoring journalists from the Philippines and Singapore, together with GWM executives, pose by the new Haval Menglong

At the ongoing 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show being held at the China Import and Export Fair Complex (Pazhou Complex) from November 17 to 26, 2023, which this writer recently visited, it was clearly evident that the industry is flourishing.

With an area covering a sprawling 220,000 square meters, consisting of six colossal indoor halls and one outdoor exhibition, more than 800 exhibitors are displaying 1,132 cars, of which 469 are new energy vehicles.

It was a mixture of countless local Chinese and foreign brands, from Great Wall Motor, BYD, GAC, Geely, Xpeng, Li Auto, Changan, Chery, Dongfeng, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Lexus, BMW, Mini, Land Rover, Tesla and many others.

Haval’s newest SUV is a rugged powerful offroader.

In a report, the quantity, as well as the quality of Chinese automotive shows have been improving through the years.

For one, the Guangzhou Auto Show or Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, established in 2003, is one of China’s top three most influential automotive expos, even acclaimed as a barometer of the Chinese automotive market.

The show has been presenting the latest advancements in automotive technology, products, and industry-related services, encompassing the entire automotive supply chain, including complete vehicles, components, accessories, connected vehicle technology and customized vehicles.

Cannon PHEV pickup

One of the organizers of the event, Wang Xia, said: “In 2001, the export value of China’s automobile industry chain was only $1.56 billion, taking up a global share of just 0.65 percent.”

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“In the first eight months of this year, this figure neared 122 billion dollars, accounting for 5.5 percent of the global total,” he added.

Great Wall Motor soaring to more greatness

Stunning Ora is catered to female drivers

One of the Chinese brands likewise on pace to achieve sales milestones this year is Great Wall Motor Company Ltd. The company’s 2023 overall sales target of 1.6 million units would mark its 50.9 percent growth compared to last year.

Export-wise, GWM is speeding up its global campaign. Last year, it sold 173,180 vehicles in overseas markets, up 21.28 percent year-on-year. So far, its accumulative overseas sales have exceeded one million units.

GWM, China’s largest SUV and pickup maker, is said to target over 10 NEVs to be launched this year.

Some of these NEVs were launched at the Guangzhou Auto Show.

At the show, GWM unveiled the following new hybrids and PHEVs: The sport-ute Haval MengLong; WEY’s high-end multipurpose vehicle lineup; female-centric ORA models; Hi4-T advanced technology-equipped TANK 700 Hi4-T offroader SUV, and the GaoShan CANNON PHEV pickup trucks.

This mighty Tank 700 was unveiled during its global premiere at the show