China claims it has become the world's biggest car exporter after overtaking Japan in the first three months of the year.
Photo Insert: China exported 3.2 million vehicles in 2022.
Officials figures released in the last week show China exported 1.07 million vehicles in the period, up 58% compared to the first quarter of 2022, Peter Hoskins reported for BBC News recently.
At the same time, Japan's vehicle exports stood at 954,185, after edging up 6% from a year earlier. China's exports were boosted by demand for electric cars and sales to Russia.
Last year, China overtook Germany to become the world's second largest car exporter. According to China's General Administration of Customs, China exported 3.2 million vehicles in 2022, compared to Germany's 2.6 million vehicle exports.
The shift away from fossil fuels has helped fuel the rise of China's motor industry. First quarter exports of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include electric cars, rose by more than 90%, compared to a year earlier.
Tesla's China arm, SAIC - the owner of the MG brand - and BYD, which is backed by veteran US investor Warren Buffett, are among China's top exporters of NEVs. Elon Musk's electric carmaker has a huge manufacturing plant in Shanghai which exports to regions including Japan and Europe.
Tesla's 'Gigafactory' is currently capable of producing 1.25 million vehicles a year, and the company is planning to further increase capacity.