Spanish imports of Chinese cars 20 times higher in 2022

BARCELONA, Spain, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese car brands are gaining a strong foothold in the Spanish market, with exports to Spain 20 times higher in 2022.

Figures published this month by the Spanish association of automobile manufacturers (ANFAC) show that Chinese vehicles worth 1.39 billion euros (1.51 billion U.S. dollars) were sold in Spain in 2022, up from 68 million euros a year before.

This huge rise in sales means China replaced the United Kingdom as the fourth-largest exporter of cars to Spain, behind Germany, France and the Czech Republic.

One reason for the increase is that unlike European manufacturers, Chinese car makers are not struggling to regain competitiveness after the pandemic, said the Federation of Automotive Dealers Associations (Faconauto).

"Chinese brands are managing to take advantage of the gaps in the European market, in this case in Spain, and they are creating a customer base that feels somewhat overlooked by other international brands," Raul Morales, director of communications at Faconauto, told Xinhua.

"Chinese technology is a step ahead of the technology in the rest of the world, and they are also offering a good product, and at a price that is competitive compared to other manufacturers," Morales added.

Brands like MG, Lynk and Co, Aiways and Maxus have all seen sales in Spain go up. MG sold 6,901 vehicles last year in Spain, an 825 percent rise in sales, and ANFAC says that the market share of Chinese cars now represents 7.3 percent of car imports.

"In the next few years we can expect the market share of Chinese brands to rise significantly, not only in the Spanish market but also in the European market. This has happened in other markets such as South America, where right now Chinese brands predominate," said Morales.

China was not the only Asian country that increased its presence in the Spanish market last year, with Japanese car sales going up by 23 percent, while South Korean manufacturers sold 28 percent more vehicles.

The boom in sales of Asian cars is one of the main reasons why total car exports to Spain went up by 22.8 percent in 2022, according to ANFAC.

Now that Chinese manufacturers have established a presence in Spain, Morales said, the next step is to consolidate: "Chinese brands are making increasingly competitive products. They have overcome some early problems, above all related to vehicle safety, which has now been standardized. Now they have to position themselves as established brands in Europe and Spain." (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollar)

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