Brazil surpasses EU as top destination for Chinese EV

China’s electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are shifting gears, with Brazil now their top export market.

This surge comes amid an anti-subsidy probe by the European Union (EU) and strategic efforts by China to diversify its export destinations.

Data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) reveals a staggering 13-fold year-on-year increase in Chinese electric vehicle exports to Brazil in April.

This surge propelled Brazil to the top spot, surpassing Belgium which previously held the title.

This trend is likely fueled by a combination of factors. Firstly, Brazil is set to raise tariffs on imported electric and hybrid vehicles in July, aiming to boost domestic production.

This has incentivized Chinese automakers to capture market share before the price increase.

Secondly, the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation has disrupted exports to Europe, prompting Chinese car companies to explore new markets in South America, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The data further highlights this shift. While Russia remains China’s largest overall car export market (due to sanctions impacting Western competitors), Brazil is now its second-largest destination for all car types.

Additionally, Chinese auto exports to Brazil skyrocketed by 536% in the first four months of 2024, compared to a more modest 27% increase for Mexico.

This strategic move by Chinese carmakers is also evidenced by increased investments in local Brazilian production.

BYD is constructing a manufacturing facility targeting year-end or early 2025 production, and Great Wall Motor is set to begin operations at its Brazilian plant this month.

The situation underscores the dynamic nature of the global auto industry and the growing prominence of Chinese electric vehicles.

As traditional markets face trade hurdles, China is actively seeking new avenues for growth, potentially reshaping the global EV landscape.

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