Automotive supply chain: widespread and robust global export growth in the first half of 2023

Affirmation of the electric vehicles drives industry sales


Slowdown Conjuncture Automotive Check performance Industries Uncertainty Global economic trends

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As already documented in other articles in the ExportPlanning1 magazine, in the first half of 2023 the supply chain automotive (finished products and related components)2 was among the sectors experiencing the greatest growth in terms of world exports, measured at constant prices (net, i.e. , of inflationary and currency phenomena).

The electric vehicles boom is driving
world exports from the automotive supply chain...

Cars, transport and agriculture equipment

The analysis of global exports of means of transport and agriculture in the first half of 2023 (documented in the following table) highlights the sustained trend growth of the cars, buses and caravans (+16.9% at constant prices), road freight vehicles and trailers (+15.2%) and aircraft (+20.9%)3.

World Exports of cars, transport and agriculture equipment
(changes at constant prices)

Levels % Y-o-Y changes at constant prices
Sector Bn € 2022 Year 2022 Q1-2023 Q2-2023 H1-2023
Cars, buses and caravans 790.6 + 3.7 +20.4 +13.6 +16.9
Road freight vehicles and trailers 195.8 + 7.8 +16.2 +14.2 +15.2
Earth-moving machinery 90.8 +11.7 + 7.6 + 8.7 + 8.1
Ships and yachts 89.8 - 3.5 - 8.2 + 3.1 - 2.4
Aircraft 83.1 + 7.9 + 9.8 +32.2 +20.9
Agricultural machinery 66.6 + 2.3 + 5.6 + 4.1 + 4.8
Motorcycles 39.2 - 3.4 + 7.3 + 2.6 + 4.9
Other automotive products 50.9 + 8.9 + 4.1 + 9.6 + 6.9
TOTAL 1 406.7 + 4.5 +14.4 +12.6 +13.5
Source: ExportPlanning-World Trade Datamart

..both in terms of direct contribution
to cars' world exports...

Cars, buses and caravans

In particular, within the cars, buses and caravans sector, in the first half of the year the electric cars segment (with a trend increase of over 44 percentage points, at constant prices) contributed approximately 63 percent to the overall growth of exports in the sector, after having already ensured a 128% contribution to the growth of global exports in the sector in 2022 (with an average annual growth of +30% at constant prices, as highlighted in the graph below).

Road freight vehicles and trailers

Also in the road freight vehicles and trailers sector, the electric motor type (trucks with hybrid engines [internal combustion and electric]) is providing - thanks to highly developed performances (+322% trend at constant prices) - a significant contribution to overall growth of global exports in the sector.

..and also in terms of stimulating world exports
of batteries and accumulators.

Components for vehicles

The analysis of global exports of components for means of transport highlights particularly strong growth in the first half of 2023 for the batteries and accumulators sector (+42.5 percent compared to the first half of 2022), which contributed over 43% to the overall increase in global exports of the automotive components sector.

World Exports di components for vehicles
(changes at constant prices)

Levels % Y-o-Y changes at constant prices
Sector Bn € 2022 Year 2022 Q1-2023 Q2-2023 H1-2023
Non-electric parts and accessories for motor vehicles 354.5 + 7.6 + 5.6 + 4.2 + 4.9
Engines and other aircraft components 173.7 +12.9 +15.9 +18.8 +17.4
Batteries and accumulators 114.9 +35.2 +46.7 +38.9 +42.5
Bodies and parts of bodies and trailers 102.5 + 7.3 + 9.5 + 9.8 + 9.7
Engines and chassis for motor vehicles 97.0 + 4.8 + 7.6 + 5.6 + 6.6
Parts and accessories for motor vehicles 96.2 + 5.8 + 5.5 + 2.3 + 3.9
Tires and air chambers 94.9 - 0.6 - 3.3 - 7.1 - 5.2
Other automotive components 51.6 +10.0 - 0.3 + 0.1 - 0.1
TOTAL 1 085.2 +10.3 +10.2 + 8.9 + 9.6
Source: ExportPlanning-World Trade Datamart

Batteries and accumulators

In the batteries and accumulators sector, in the first half of the year there was a continuation of the strong growth (already experienced in the 2022 average: +44% at constant prices) in world exports of lithium-ion electric accumulators (+53.2% compared to the corresponding period in 2022), contributing over 100 percent to the growth of global exports in the sector.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the most common and popular type of rechargeable battery due to their characteristics of high energy density, long life, low self-discharge and adaptability to a wide range of applications4.


Just as is happening in the Electrical Engineering industry, where the ecological transition is driving the sector and some of its specific segments5, the automotive supply chain is benefiting from the advent of electric vehicles, which is driving global exports of motor vehicles (cars and trucks with electric or hybrid engines) and, at the same time, stimulating demand for electric (lithium-ion) batteries and accumulators.
These phenomena, currently in an initial phase, will tend to have significant effects on the entire supply chain for a long time, both upstream (components) and downstream (finished product).
It will therefore be essential for all operators in the supply chain (especially those upstream, who will have to know how to anticipate the moves of downstream producers) to timely monitor the changes taking place at an international level.
In this regard, the new line of information services "Market Insights", aimed at specifically supporting the market intelligence and budgeting processes of exporting companies.

1) See the following articles: 2) Please refer to the description of the following industries: 3) In the aircraft sector, in the first half of 2023 there is a particularly significant trend growth in global exports of space vehicles (including satellites) and their launch vehicles (+210%), contributing over 20 percent to the overall increase in the sector.
4) Lithium-ion accumulators, often simply called lithium-ion batteries, are a type of rechargeable battery widely used in a wide range of electronic devices, vehicles and energy storage systems. These batteries are based on a chemical technology that involves lithium as a key element for energy storage and release. Among the main characteristics of lithium-ion batteries we highlight:
  • high energy density: lithium-ion batteries have one of the highest energy densities among rechargeable battery technologies currently available. This means they can store a large amount of energy in a small volume and weight, making them ideal for portable applications such as smartphones, laptops and similar devices;
  • cycle life: lithium-ion batteries are generally designed to offer a high number of charge/discharge cycles before their capacity begins to degrade significantly. This makes them suitable for long-term use in electronic devices;
  • low self-discharge: lithium-ion batteries have a relatively low self-discharge rate compared to other battery technologies, meaning they lose energy more slowly when not in use;
  • limited memory effect: lithium-ion batteries have a very limited memory effect compared to older technologies such as nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries. This means that it is not necessary to completely discharge a lithium-ion battery before recharging it, which makes it easier to manage;
  • wide application: lithium-ion batteries are used in a wide range of devices and applications, among which electric vehicles are of growing importance;
  • safety: modern lithium-ion batteries are designed with advanced management systems to ensure safety during charging and use. However, they can be subject to overheating and fire problems if damaged or misused.
5) See the following articles in this regard: