BEIJING – The combined European and Russian region became the second-largest export destination for Chinese cars in 2006, according to the latest statistics released by China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery & Electronic Products.
China’s vehicle exports have grown rapidly over the past few years, hitting a record high of 340,000 units last year, up 98 percent over 2005, while the export value, at $3.135 billion, was up 96.6 percent.
Chinese vehicles are mainly sold in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Russia. For years the Asian market has been the largest for Chinese vehicles, with sales accounting for 43.6 percent of the value of all Chinese vehicle exports in 2006.
In 2006 China sold 76,600 vehicles to the combined European/Russian region, up 171.9 percent over the previous year. Sales climbed 154.3 percent to reach $748 million, giving the region a 23.9-percent share of total export value. Thus the combined European/Russian market overtook Africa to become the second-largest overseas market for cars made in China.
The bulk of Chinese sales in the region were in Eastern Europe and Russia, with Russian sales tripling to 38,000 units.
South America is also a major market for Chinese vehicles. Last year China sold twice the number there as it did in 2005. Furthermore, the number of countries on the continent importing more than $100 million worth of Chinese cars increased from three to seven countries.
China reported a surplus of $7.2 billion in automotive trade (including commodities, parts and complete vehicles) last year. Exports were worth $28.144 billion and imports $20.878 billion. Chinese exports, however, accounted for only 0.7 percent of the world’s total automotive trade.
China aims to increase its automotive export volume to $120 billion a year, or about 10 percent of the world’s total, within a decade, says Wei Jianguo, vice minister of commerce.