It has now become a kind of quiz with prizes. Something like “What is most favorable to the Chinese auto industry?”. After having conquered the podium the topic of electric cars, followed by that of economical cars and that of cars ready for delivery, now war arrives on the table of debate.
The theory is this: Western sanctions against Russia are spurring demand for Chinese-made cars, and the surge could continue as long as the sanctions remain in place. We could start the debate, but here – this time – there is little to discuss because this thesis is supported by a direct interested party: a senior manager of the Chinese automotive association. “Our car manufacturers – explained Xu Haidong, deputy chief engineer of the China Association of Auto Manufacturers, Caam – are also trying to assemble vehicles in Russia and localize production”.
“There is still huge demand in the Russian market, but it will not necessarily depend exclusively on imports,” the executive said “Chinese automotive exports to Russia will continue to be in high demand in the next 2-3 years, after which the automotive sector Chinese market will probably increase its localization in the Russian market.”
Two data to confirm the thesis: Russia was the main destination for Chinese automotive exports in the first seven months of the year, according to Caam data, with 464,000 cars sold. Mexico was in second place with 224,000 units. And throughout last year, Mexico was the top importer of Chinese cars with 254,000 units, while Russia was the fifth largest importer with 162,000 units. So we can say that imported Chinese cars now represent 49 percent of the Russian market, reaching 40,000 units in June, compared to a pre-war share of just 7 percent in June 2021 (data from the analysis company Autostat): a boom resounding. And if we add to this the fact that Chinese companies are also assembling vehicles in Russia, taking over factories abandoned by Western automakers, the picture is complete.
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