Chinese automobile exports look set to surpass 800,000 units this year, CNR reported today. The statistics, which came from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, represent a four percent growth for the export industry.

According to Zhi Luxun, assistant director of the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of the Mechanic, Electronic and Hi-tech Industry, automobiles are the world’s most traded good, accounting for ten percent of all trade. Automobiles respectively account for 75 percent, 65 percent and 50 percent of Germany, Japan and South Korea’s total exports. Even in Brazil automobiles make up over 20 percent of all exports. The situation is quite different in China, where only 580,000 automobiles were exported in 2010, constituting around three percent of all exports.

Chinese automobile exports fall far behind their international rivals. A lot of this is due to the relative young age of the Chinese automotive industry and lack of brand awareness. Chinese vehicles have also undergone less technological research and development when compared with their competitors from Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea. Furthermore, Chinese manufacturers do not hold the intellectual property rights to the auto parts used in their vehicles. Chinese vehicles, which are mainly exported to developing countries, have above average return and repair rates, with constant engine shortages.