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China’s Passenger Vehicle Imports Dropped 18% in 2022

Sales of imported passenger vehicles in 2022 decreased by 18.0% from the previous year to 769,286 units in China, marking the third consecutive year of decline since 2020. Amid the sluggish growth of the Chinese economy due to the resurgence of the new coronavirus, the impact of the global shortage of semiconductors and soaring raw material prices was also significant.

European vehicle models fell by 18.3% year-on-year to 530,033 units. The market share of European brands shrank by 0.2 percentage points to 68.9%, continuing from the previous year to hold about 70% of the imported passenger vehicle market. Imports of Japanese automakers dropped by 15.3% year-on-year to 223,142 units, but their market share slightly increased from 28.1% of the previous year to 29.0%. Due to the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing conflict between the United States and China in various areas, sales of U.S. automakers continued to decline sharply, down 43.4% year-on-year to 13,935 units. As a result, U.S. share in the imported passenger vehicle market declined even further from 2.6% of the previous year to 1.8%. U.S. vehicle imports peaked in 2014 at around 174,000 units. The current import scale is about 8.0% of 2014’s level.

Graph: China: Sales Volume and Year-on-year Growth of Imported Passenger Vehicles by Origin (2013-2022)Graph: China: Market Share of Imported Passenger Vehicles by Origin (2013-2022)
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