China’s electric car exports more than doubled and hit monthly record in November. This was largely driven by European automakers producing electric vehicles in China and exporting them to Europe. According to Chinese customs data, Chinese automakers exported $3.2 billion worth of electric vehicles in November.
European countries such as Belgium and the United Kingdom were the biggest importers, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the imports. China’s electric vehicle exports have accounted for more than half of total vehicle exports for two consecutive months. In November, China’s auto exports reached a record high in totaling $6 billion.
European automakers such as Volkswagen and BMW are planning to manufacture parts and cars in China and export them to local markets due to limited capacity in their home markets. BMW to export all-electric BMW iX3 models produced by BMW Brilliance to the global market as early as the year 2020. BMW plans to stop production of MINI electric models at its Oxford plant in the UK and move the line to China.
Volkswagen announced in December that its Spanish brand Cupra will produce its first electric SUV, the Tavascan, at its joint venture plant in Anhui province and will enter the European market in 2024. Europe is also one of the key export destinations for Tesla‘s Shanghai plant which exported 37,000 vehicles from China in November.
China’s local car companies are also accelerating their move out of the country and are looking at Europe as their main overseas destination. Traditional car companies SAIC Group, which owns the British brand MG (MG) cars, has expanded its distribution network in Europe as a way to sell electric cars. BYD auto has also opened deliveries in Germany, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands this year. Great Wall’s pure electric brand Ola has also landed in the European market. China has overtaken Germany as the world’s second largest exporter of automobiles, after only Japan.
China’s export market for cars sold 3 million units of vehicles from January to November this year.