The year 2023 saw a boom in Chinese brands in Europe. Over the course of the year, seven new brands were added to the 23 already on the Old Continent's lists.

Translated into figures, according to JATO's analysisChinese brands will register 322,000 units in 2023, an increase of 79% on 2022, taking their market share to a record 2.6% (1.7% in 2022).

This growth is of concern to the European Union, which last September launched an investigation into the "unfair" public subsidies granted by Beijing to its own manufacturers. The results could be in soon.

Getting ahead of schedule

According to Automotive News Europe, the investigation should be completed in November, but the EU could impose provisional duties as early as July.

In a document published on 5 March, the European Commission stated that it had sufficient evidence to prove that Chinese production of electric vehicles was heavily subsidised by the state. 

BYD Yangwang U8 Premium Edition 2024 en montagne

Yangwang, BYD's new luxury brand (Yangwang U8)

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce to the EU said it was disappointed by the decision of European decision-makers and that the increase in imports in 2023 reflected the growing demand for electric vehicles in Europe.

European brands such as Volkswagen, Mini, BMW and Mercedes, which produce some of their models in China, could also lose out. 

The situation of Chinese brands

For their part, some Chinese brands are looking with interest at Europe to build production facilities. This is the case of BYD, which last December presented plans for a factory in Hungary. The same is true of SAIC, which is looking to Europe to set up a future plant and give new impetus to MG.

MG3

MG3, la compacte full hybride presentée au Salon de Genève

As we have said, the Chinese lead was significant in 2023. But it must also be said that of China's 30 brands, only 8 registered more than 1,000 units, with MG accounting for 72% of the total.

The SAIC-controlled brand, whose cars are designed, developed and manufactured in China, was the star of the year. MG's volume rose from 113,182 units in 2022 to 231,818 units in 2023, making it the 20th best-selling brand in Europe, overtaking Cupra, Suzuki, Mini and Mazda.

Gallery: MG3 Hybrid+ at the Geneva Motor Show 2024