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Will your next car be made in China? Japan and Germany surpassed as China becomes world's largest exporter of new vehicles

In Australia, one of the most popular cars built in China is the Tesla Model 3.

China has become the world’s largest exporter of new cars for the first time, rocketing past Germany and Japan, according to data published this year.

To the end of March, China’s new-vehicle exports shot up 58 per cent compared to the first three months of 2022, totally 1.06 million vehicles.

This compares to Japan’s 954,185 vehicle total over the same period, up six per cent, while Germany hit 839,066 vehicle exports, up a significant 37.2 per cent.

According to the BBC, a huge part of the surge in vehicle exports from China is due to the rising demand for electric cars, with new-energy vehicles (NEVs) increasing 90 per cent in the first quarter this year.

China has become a primary supplier of Tesla models around the world since the brand built a Gigafactory production facility there in 2019, while MG, BYD, LDV and GWM all build their EVs in their home market for export.

In Australia over the same time period, 41,235 new vehicles sold were manufactured in China (an increase of 70.7 per cent compared to the Q1, 2022), representing 15.3 per cent of the new-car market at the time.

However, Japan is still Australia’s primary source of new vehicles, accounting for 73,881 (27.5%) units, while Thailand – where many popular utes like the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara are manufactured – is third with 60,727 (22.6%).

GWM sold 8194 units. GWM sold 8194 units.

Of Australia’s circa-74,000 Chinese-built vehicles, 10,407 are Tesla-branded – 7238 of the Model 3 and 3169 of the Model Y.

Meanwhile, Chinese brands like BYD (2098), GWM (8194), LDV (5029) and MG (12,385) account for just around a third of Australia’s Chinese vehicle imports.

Popular cars from Volvo including the XC60 and XC40 are also produced in China, as are the Polestar 2 and BMW iX3 electric cars.