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Chinese car sales top those of US rivals for first time – report

The Asian country’s automakers sold over 13 million new vehicles globally in 2023, according to researcher JATO Dynamics

Chinese auto manufacturers have sold more cars than their US counterparts for the first-time last year, according to a report issued by researcher JATO Dynamics on Thursday. 

Data showed that Chinese brands, led by Shenzhen-based BYD, sold 13.43 million new vehicles last year, while US brands sold about 11.93 million. Japanese brands “maintained a strong position,” leading with 23.59 million in global sales.

The report also indicated that China-origin companies’ sales growth exceeded that of the US, up 23% from the previous year, compared with the 9% growth for American firms.

“Negligence from legacy automakers, which has resulted in consistently high car prices, has inadvertently driven consumers towards more affordable Chinese alternatives,” said Felipe Munoz, senior analyst at JATO.

“As car prices continue to rise elsewhere, Chinese car brands are capitalizing on this trend to gain market traction at a much faster pace,” he explained.

According to the report, the market share of Chinese car brands soared across regions such as the Middle East, Eurasia, and Africa, while posting growth in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Chinese car brands also gained share in developed economies, including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.

BYD’s compact sedan, the Qin, was the most popular Chinese model, according to the JATO report.

While the Chinese domestic market showed “signs of deceleration,” the country’s manufacturers were searching for “sources of growth abroad.” 

Chinese brands have already been successful across emerging economies due to easier access policies, lower trade barriers, and higher price sensitivities among consumers, the report showed.

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US slaps steep tariffs on China

“Over 17.5 million new cars were sold in the emerging economies in 2023. That is more than the total sales in the US or Europe during the year,” Munoz pointed out.

This growth, reports add, has come despite growing trade tensions between China and the West and other factors, such as high interest rates and rising vehicle prices.

This week, the EU hit China’s electric vehicle (EV) makers with hefty tariffs of up to 38%. Beijing has warned that it would target the bloc’s aviation and agriculture sectors in response to these duties. Brussels’ move followed the US having quadrupled tariffs on Chinese EVs to 100%.

Türkiye has also announced 40% additional tariffs on vehicles from China over the weekend, drawing strong criticism from Beijing, which urged Ankara to immediately remove discriminatory duties.

June 15, 2024 at 01:07AM

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