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Chongqing Automakers Contribute 10% to Chinese Auto Exports | Story

By Dai Yuan|Jun 01,2023

Chongqing - In the first quarter of this year, China surpassed Japan to become the world’s largest vehicle exporter, with 107 million cars exported, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Chongqing, a significant auto manufacturing base in Southwest China, accounts for 10% of Chinese car exports, thanks to automakers such as Changan Automobile, Seres, Livan Auto, and SAIC Hongyan.

The 100,000th Seres AITO rolled off the production line in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. (Photo/Seres)

Car exports drive local auto industrial development

Changan Automobile, for instance, has experienced rapid growth in its exports to Central Europe and Central Asia this year. 

Its export volume to Central Asia increased nearly tenfold from January to April compared to the previous year. During the same period, Changan Automobile exported over 75,000 vehicles, a 16.7% year-on-year increase.

Seres, another Chongqing automaker, successfully expanded its markets to South Korea, Japan, and Singapore this year. Its main destinations include South America, Europe, North Africa, and Asia, with popular models such as Seres 3, Seres 5, DFSK E5, and DFSK Glory 500. 

Seres has also been exporting fuel passenger vehicles, mini commercial vehicles, and electric vehicles in bulk to France, Germany, and Italy. Its mini commercial vehicle exports lead among Chinese automakers.

Livan Auto, a new brand established less than a year ago, exported over 4,000 vehicles in 2022. The company recently exported six batches of its model X3 Pro to Russia, with a single batch exceeding 200 units.

Chongqing-made commercial vehicles are also gaining popularity overseas. SAIC Hongyan, a local experienced heavy-duty truck manufacturer, recently shipped 100 smart heavy trucks to Kazakhstan. 

SAIC Hongyan has been strategically expanding its market in Central Asia since 2020, and the sales volume in this area has now exceeded 800 vehicles.

“Car exports have become a new driving force for local auto industrial development,” said a Chongqing Liangjiang New Area representative. 

As the major cluster of the Chongqing auto industry, Liangjiang New Area achieved an auto import and export amount of 7.8 billion yuan (about 1.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the first four months, marking a year-on-year increase of 53%.

Target to build overseas manufacturing bases

Zhu Huarong, the board chairman of Changan Automobile, said that the company plans to classify its models into different versions for various markets, including Chinese, American, and European versions. 

Changan Automobile will invest four billion yuan (about 565 million U.S. dollars) in building a right-hand drive manufacturing base in Thailand and has plans to establish manufacturing bases in Europe and America, with a projected overseas capacity exceeding 500,000 units.

Seres, leveraging the tariff preferences, customs clearance simplification, and trade and investment facilitation policies brought by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has invested 150 million U.S. dollars in constructing a modern manufacturing plant in Indonesia. 

The company collaborates with partners to co-build plants in Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey.

In January, Seres introduced its new energy model, Seres 5, at the Brussels Auto Show, marking the first overseas launch of a Chinese automaker’s new energy vehicle in 2023. The company aims to start in China, establish a foothold in Europe, and expand worldwide.

Water transportation is gaining popularity among automakers

The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) and the Yangtze River Golden Waterway significantly promote Chongqing-made vehicles reaching globally.

As of 2022, Seres has successfully shipped over 10,000 containers of vehicles and parts to destinations such as Indonesia, Peru, and Ecuador through the ILSTC, with a total cargo value of about 2 billion yuan (about 282 million U.S. dollars).

Water transportation is also gaining popularity among automakers. Since 2014, the Chongqing branch of SGMW has shipped over 650,000 vehicles to global markets via the Guoyuan port’s Ro-Ro commercial vehicle terminal.

Huang Bin, the deputy general manager of Chongqing Guoyuan Ro-Ro Terminal Co., Ltd., stated that automakers are increasingly utilizing water transportation for their shipments. Currently, the throughput capacity of Guoyuan Port has increased by about 10%.


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