China is set to become world's largest automobile exporter for first time. In first quarter of this year, China surpassed traditional car-making giants Japan and Germany for the first time. Chinese manufacturers exported more than 1.06 million vehicles in first quarter of 2023. In doing so, they overtook Japan's number of 1.05 million. China's car industry has made great strides in past few years. Throughout 2010s, it managed to produce around million cars year. That doubled to two million in 2021 and then tripled to three million year later. China is forecast to more than quadruple production numbers from just four years ago to become world's largest auto exporter.
China is becoming world's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles (EVs). Elon Musk's Tesla has giant "gigafactory" in China. It has capacity of 1.25 million vehicles year, but is yet to reach maximum output. The plant exports large volume of Tesla cars to Canada, Europe and Japan. However, Tesla is about to lose its crown as world's largest EV maker to Chinese company called BYD. Last month, BYD launched compact EV called Seagull, with starting price of $11,000. The top three countries that China exports cars to are Russia, United States and Mexico. Exports to Russia have been boosted by Western countries imposing trade sanctions on Moscow.