Number of cars imported into China 2008-2018

The graph shows car imports into China from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, approximately 1.1 million passenger cars and commercial vehicles had been imported into China.

Vehicle imports to China – additional information

Economic and social changes over the last few decades have propelled China to become the world’s largest automobile market. Due to rising income levels, more Chinese consumers had been interested in buying imported cars, which are considered to be expensive in China because of high taxes as well as large profit margins. The growing demand for high-end import cars has attracted attention of many foreign car manufacturers. According to the graph at hand, the number of cars imported into China had amounted to over 1.4 million in 2014 and car imports had increased by 21.6 percent year-on-year. In 2011, passenger car imports from Germany to China had reached 15.4 billion U.S. dollars. In 2014, the value of monthly car imports to China had ranged at a median of five billion U.S. dollars.

While the luxury vehicle market is dominated by imported cars, the Chinese automobile market as a whole is occupied by joint ventures between foreign auto brands such as Volkswagen and General Motors and domestic manufacturers, targeting middle and lower-middle consumers. In 2014, FAW-Volkswagen, a joint venture between Volkswagen Group and FAW Motor, had been the largest passenger car manufacturer in China, selling nearly 1.8 million passenger cars.

In this skimmed market with comparably unfavorable starting positions, domestic auto brands are struggling more and more to compete with foreign brands. A chance to counteract this development might lie within an arising trend in China, namely the e-mobility segment. By mid-2015, production of new energy vehicles in China had just taken off and is expected to benefit domestic manufacturers. Among those profiteers was Chinese car producer BYD, with an annual revenue of about 58 billion yuan in 2014.

Number of cars imported into China from 2008 to 2018

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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Earlier figures were taken from previous publications.

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Statistics on "Automobile import and export in China"

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