China's robust exports give auto parts industries a leg-up

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People look at a vehicle during the sixth Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Chongqing International Expo Center in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, May 23, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

As China's automobile exports continue to surge, auto parts enterprises across the country are also riding the wave of going global.

In 2023, the export value of automobiles and parts hit about 101.61 billion yuan (about 14.3 billion U.S. dollars) and 87.66 billion yuan, up 69 percent and 9 percent from the prior year, respectively, according to the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

Against this backdrop, the just-concluded sixth Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Chongqing Municipality featured an exhibition area for automobile parts. The area accommodated products such as accessories, wheels and engines, as well as batteries for new energy vehicles (NEVs).

Lydia Wang, foreign trade manager of Chongqing Naigu Automobile Products E-commerce Co., Ltd., said that an expanding automobile industry will inevitably stimulate demands for maintenance, parts renewal, and remolding, which has given China's auto parts enterprises an opportunity to explore overseas markets alongside vehicle manufacturers.

"China overtook Japan to become the largest automobile exporter last year. The parts enterprises need to follow the trends. We are making efforts to help local companies to attract more foreign clients at this fair," said Dong Zheng, secretary general of Chongqing Liangjiang Auto Chamber of Commerce.

At the booth of eBay, Kelvin Ho, senior director in charge of eBay's business development in China, found that the majority of visitors to their booth were from auto parts enterprises which are willing to go global via cross-border e-commerce.

"I can feel the enthusiasm of Chongqing's auto parts enterprises, as every day I can receive dozens of enterprises coming to consult," he said.

Similar scenes also took place in the 2024 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition early this month. The auto parts exhibition area saw 49,000 visitors within three days, 37.6 percent of whom were overseas visitors.

Auto parts enterprises' overseas expansion is great news. The overseas market has provided more growth space for them, according to Zhou Weidong, president of the Machinery sub-council of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

"The global automobile industry chain mix is changing, providing the perfect timing for domestic enterprises to join the supply chain of multinationals," Zhou said in his speech during a forum in terms of the internationalization of automobile industries.

Many places across the country have taken action to further bulk up automobile parts industries.

To meet the growing market demands, the local government in east China's Anhui Province plans to help strengthen coordination between automobile manufacturing factories and parts enterprises to foster several distinctive industrial clusters of automobile parts. Meanwhile, Chongqing is estimated to set up 800 NEVs parts enterprises as of 2027, according to local industrial observations.

"In the future, more Chinese auto parts brands will debut on the global market and that's just what we strive for," said Ho.

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