On August 31, at the “2019 China Automotive Industry Development (TEDA) International Forum (TEDA)”, Song Xianmao, deputy director of Foreign Trade Department of Ministry of Commerce and deputy director of the National Import and Export Office of Mechanical and Electrical Products, said that China is now moving from a big trading country to a trading power, the automotive industry will play a bigger role. Song Xianmao said that. from 2001 to 2012, the scale of China’s automobile exports rose linearly from 20,000 to 1.02 million, with an average annual growth rate of 38.7%. In 2018, China’s automobile export volume reached 1.15 million, a record high. In the very severe foreign trade environment, the growth rate of China automobile exports in the first half of 2019 was 3.1%.
In addition, the quality and efficiency of Chinese automobile exports are also constantly improving. In 2018, the average unit price of China’s auto exports was 13,000 US dollars, an increase of more than 30% over 2001. In 2019, the average unit price of automobile exports was about 22,000 US dollars.
For a long time, more than 90% of China’s automobiles have been exported to emerging markets and underdeveloped countries such as Africa and Asia, especially the Iranian market. In recent years, China has achieved breakthroughs in exports to developed countries. In the past five years, export growth in developed markets has increased by 14 percentage. In the first half of 2019, automobile exports to countries along the “Belt and Road” accounted for 46% of China’s total automobile exports.
At the same time, Chinese auto companies are also accelerating the international market layout and gradually integrating into the global industrial chain. Song Xianmao said that according to the preliminary statistics of the Ministry of Commerce, since the end of 2018, the number of factories established by overseas investment companies in China has reached 140, and the number of overseas international marketing networks has reached more than 9,200, the influence of Chinese independent brand cars in some markets has increased significantly.
Although the scale of China’s automobile exports has reached one million, it is still in its infancy from the perspective of future development. Song Xianmao believes that China’s automobile exports are inconsistent with Chinese industry volume and strength, there is a big gap with developed countries.
From the perspective of volume, according to the statistics of the International Automobile Manufacturers Association, global automobile production in 2018 is 95.7 million, and China’s automobile production is 27.8 million, accounting for 30% of the global total. However, from the point of view of exports, Chinese automobile exports in 2018 were US$15.7 billion (approximately RMB 1,123), accounting for only 1.6% of the global automobile export share.
According to China MIIT, China will enter the second-tier of manufacturing in 2025, and will enter the forefront of the second-tier in 2035, becoming a veritable manufacturing power. By then, China’s automobile manufacturing industry will compete with Germany, Japan, South Korea and other car powers. Historically, China’s auto export scale has achieved a major leap, not a distant dream, but a promising future. From the history of Japan and South Korea’s automobile exports, China’s auto exports are expected to make new breakthroughs in the scale of one million vehicles in the next three to five years.