SHANGHAI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai's automobile exports have picked up as the COVID-19 epidemic wanes and local car manufacturing rebounds, statistics showed.
China's exports of passenger cars reached 226,000 units in July, up 76 percent from the same period last year, according to an analysis report released by the China Passenger Car Association on Tuesday.
Shanghai automakers' exports account for some 20 percent of the national total, the association noted, adding that the city's much-improved epidemic situation has driven a significant upturn in the country's auto export.
In July, Shanghai-based major Chinese automaker SAIC Motor exported around 98,000 vehicles, up 91.3 percent year on year and setting a monthly record.
The figures highlight a trend of robust automobile exports extended from the first half in Shanghai.
U.S. automaker Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory exported 97,182 automobiles in H1, more than doubling the figure for the same period last year, according to Tesla China.
Total automobile exports in Shanghai in H1 reached 556,000 units, with the value totaling 66.73 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars), according to customs statistics released in July. The figures surged 36.7 percent and 56.2 percent year on year, respectively.
At the Haitong Pier, one of China's largest auto-export terminals, throughput in H1 increased more than 20 percent year on year, while exports surged over 50 percent, according to Xi Jialin, executive director of the marketing department of Shanghai Haitong International Automotive Terminal Co., Ltd.
"We expect the situation to improve further in the second half," Xi said, adding that the pier has also seen a marked increase in exports to Europe, a highly competitive auto market, over the years.
"Three to four years ago, only about 10 percent of the cars departing from the Haitong terminal were exported to Europe, but in the first half of this year, the figure rose to 40 percent," Xi noted.
SAIC Motor has also been tapping into the market. The company's first batch of vehicles customized for the European market is expected to debut in the fourth quarter, said Zhao Aimin, deputy general manager of SAIC Motor's international branch.
Zhao said the company started to explore the European market in late 2019 and achieved sales of 73,000 vehicles in the market in 2021.
"In 2022, the European market is expected to become the first overseas market where we reach sales of more than 100,000 units," Zhao added.