It should come as no surprise that China is the largest car manufacturing country in the world. But many of us are unaware that famous automakers like Audi, Ford, and General Motors have joint ventured with the Chinese automobile industry to produce their cars.
The following graph from New York Times shows the interesting trend of increasing popularity of foreign cars in China.
In this article, we’ll cover all the foreign brands that manufacture their cars in China. In addition to that, we’ll also introduce all of you to the native car brands of China.
Are Cars Made in China?
China produces the largest number of automobiles in the entire world. In 2020, China produced 25 million automobiles. This represents 1/3rd of all vehicles produced in the world in 2020. This number is also larger than the combined production of the United States, Japan, Germany, and South Korea, the next four countries on the list of largest car manufacturers.
The Chinese automotive industry was started in the early 1950s. With the help of the Soviet Union China was able to establish its automobile plants. The Russian Federation also helped China in getting its auto designing license.
But China was an underdog in the car manufacturing industry, producing only a few hundred thousand cars for at least 30 years. It was after 1990, China entered the major league and its automobile production reached the 1 million mark. Then there was no turning back, this million turned into 2 and kept multiplying. Until China became the largest car manufacturer in the year 2009.
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Why are So Many Cars Made in China?
China has turned itself into the largest car manufacturing country. If you’re wondering why so many cars are made in China then the following points will clear any doubts you have in your mind:
- It isn’t the cars only, China is the largest manufacturer of many things.
- China produces a large number of cars to cater needs of its 1.5 billion people.
- Foreign companies are responsible for a huge number of cars produced in China.
Chinese industry has taken the entire world by surprise. China is the largest manufacturer of computers, broadcasting equipment, cement, steel, chemical ores, and many more. All thanks to the socialist government in China, the industry is thriving over there. As an extension of this industrial growth, the automobile sector has been expanded to its limits.
The Chinese population has grown at a rapid rate. It had to implement a one-child policy. Even after these countermeasures, China has a population of above 1.5 billion people. To cater to the needs of their population, they have to produce a large number of cars. Otherwise, the trade deficit of China would exceed unimaginable sums.
Lastly, a number of foreign companies have joint-ventured with Chinese automakers. The state-owned industry is jointly producing cars with giants like General Motors, Ford, Audi, and many more. This adds to the sum of cars produced in China.
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What are Some Famous Chinese Car Brands?
Following is the list of the most famous native car brands of China:
- Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC)
- Dongfeng Motor Corporation
- FAW Group Corporation
- Chang’an Automobile Group
- BAIC Group
- Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC)
What Popular Foreign Cars are Made in China?
Several foreign brands from all over the world choose China to set up their manufacturing units. The prime reason is the market of more than 1.5 billion people over there. The brands like Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Jaguar, Land Rover, and many more have manufacturing plants in China.
American Cars Made in China
The United States had a share of 12.5% in the Chinese car market. Following are the companies that held most of these shares.
Buick: Buick manufactured more than 1.3 million units in China during 2016. It ventured with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation that is based in Shanghai.
Chevrolet: Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation is also responsible for producing Chevrolet cars at their Shanghai plant. A total of 516,087 cars were produced under the banner of Chevrolet during 2019.
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Ford: FAW Group Corporation based in Changchun & Chang’an Automobile Group from Chongqing came together to produce Ford vehicles in China. More than 870,000 Ford cars were manufactured and sold in China.
Asian Cars Made in China
Japanese and Korean automobiles accounted for more than 23.6% of all vehicles produced in China during 2016. The higher demand for Japanese and Korean cars in China has been the prime reason behind this.
Honda: Honda produced 1.5 million units in China during 2019 with the combined efforts of Dongfeng Motor Corporation from Wuhan & Guangzhou Automobile Group
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Hyundai: Wuhan became the epicenter of Hyundai cars. The Dongfeng Motor Corporation ventured with Hyundai to produce 1.14 million cars during 2016.
Kia: Joint-Venture of Kia and Dongfeng Motors produced 650 thousand cars in the Wuhan district of Hubei province.
Nissan: Approximately 1 million units of Nissan cars were produced in China during 2016. Most of these cars were produced by joint-venture of Nissan and Dongfeng Motors.
Suzuki: Chang’an Automobile Group produced 156,000 Suzuki cars at their plant in Chongqing in 2019.
Mazda: FAW Group Corporation based in Changchun and Chang’an Automobile Group jointly produced 270 thousand Mazda cars in 2016.
Toyota: FAW Group Corporation & Guangzhou Automobile Group partnered with Toyota in China. Since then, Toyota sales have crossed 1 million units a year.
Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi sold around 60 thousand cars in China in 2015. Guangzhou Automobile Group based in Guangzhou was responsible for their production.
European Cars Made in China
European cars have been best-sellers in China for several years. They make up for more than 22.4% of cars manufactured in China.
Volvo: The Swedish brand produced its top-of-the-line cars in China. The Chinese automaker Geely owns the rights for the production of Volvo cars. The number of Volvo cars sold in China during 2016 was more than 70 thousand.
Audi: The luxurious German car brand Audi entrusted FAW Group Corporation to produce their cars in China. FAW has set up its manufacturing facility in Changchun.
Volkswagen: Volkswagen has been the best-selling brand in China for the last 5 years. More than 3 million units were sold in China during 2019. Making Volkswagen the most popular brand there. Shanghai Automotive Industry & FAW Group jointly produced these Volkswagen cars.
BMW: BMW has entered the Chinese car market by venturing with the Brilliance Autos. Brilliance autos are based in Shenyang and have produced over 544,000 units during 2019.
Renault: 18,281 Renault cars were produced and sold in China during 2019. The Dongfeng Motor Corporation produced these vehicles at their facility in Wuhan.
Land Rover: Land Rover is a famous British brand known to produce large-sized SUVs. The Chinese automobile company Chery has the rights to produce these cars in China. 33,839 units of Land Rover were produced by Chery at their manufacturing facility in Anhui during 2019.
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Are Auto Parts Also Made in China?
Millions of auto parts are produced in China every year. China is the largest producer of auto parts in the world. Motor Parts and accessories worth more than $34.8 billion we exported from China in 2018.
According to other reports, more than 15% of all Ford parts come from China. This is only a single example, almost all automakers have jumped at an opportunity to supply themselves with cheaper auto parts.
Following are the most-exported segments of auto parts from China:
Electronics: Generator, wiring, and lighting constitute more than 80% of all spare parts imported from China.
Brakes: Brake system components worth $1.8 billion were imported by the US.
Batteries: A large of lithium-ion batteries were exported for buses and trucks.
Engine: Smaller portion of Chinese exports are made of engine parts, but still it is quite significant.
Are Cars Made in China Less Reliable?
People were very skeptical about the quality of Chinese cars in the past.
Due to technology transfer between reliable car-producing countries and China, the quality element of Chinese cars has improved significantly. More people are buying Chinese cars and their quality is improving day by day.
Japan and South Korea are known to produce the most reliable cars in the world. Since they have ventured with Chinese automakers, this has enabled them to master quality procedures. Which has resulted in improved reliability of Chinese cars. A dependability survey was conducted by J.D power regarding Chinese cars. It garnered positive reviews from car owners. Only a few noise-related complaints were recorded by the surveyors.
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Will There be More Cars Made in China?
Due to certain reasons, it is believed that more and more cars will come out of China in the future. China is in the lead in producing electric cars, which gives it an edge over other countries. The quality of Chinese cars has also improved over time, which has helped in increasing its sales.
Moreover, the large population of China has supported its automotive industry. All these factors indicate a positive trend that more cars will be made in China.
The Chinese population is still growing at large and so is the demand for cars in China. Hence, the Chinese auto giants have ventured with foreign companies to boost up their productions. This will mean a greater number of cars will be manufactured in China in the coming days.
Car production in China has increased exponentially over the last 3 decades. China hit its 1 million per annum mark in 1990. This was doubled up to 2 million units by 2000. In the next 10 years, the volume of production expanded by more than 900%. Taking the total production of cars in China to 18 million. The peak of Chinese automobile production was reached in 2017 when more than 29 million vehicles were produced in China.
This graph has had an increasing trend in past 3 decades. It is expected to keep rising in the future as well. As the native Chinese brands are becoming more and more popular worldwide. Following are the 5 five largest importers of Chinese cars worldwide:
- Iran 19.3%
- India 9.5%
- Vietnam 6.8%
- The United States 6.6%
- Egypt 5.4%
As we know that the future of electric cars is very bright. Chinese manufacturers like BAIC group are leading in the production of electric vehicles worldwide. So, by all means, the future of Chinese cars is bright and their sales are expected to grow even further.