Improving and expanding car brands from China are capitalising on the price increases and supply constraints curtailing many competitors.
Not only are cars from GWM, Haval, LDV and MG cheaper than the established players, there has also been stock on the ground – though the country’s supply chain is under pressure now.
More importantly, each new model iteration brings improvements that seem to be winning cost-conscious or brand-agnostic buyers over, helped no doubt by long warranties.
Top of the heap is MG with 32,014 sales to the end of October, a higher year-to-date tally than Subaru (31,499) and sufficient to sit in ninth place overall.
Great Wall Motor combines its GWM Ute and Haval SUV brands, totalling 14,892 sales year to date –placing it ahead of Honda (14,560) and Suzuki (14,432).
Their respective growth figures this year are 183 per cent and 274 per cent year-on-year. Australia has subsequently become GWM’s number-one export market.
LDV is imported and sold by company Ateco separate to MG, but globally it’s another arm of SAIC Motor. It has found 12,128 buyers this year – many tradies and delivery drivers.
If you add MG and LDV despite their separate Australian operations, it means SAIC Motor has sold 44,142 cars this year – which would place it seventh between Mitsubishi and Volkswagen.
China has now become Australia’s fourth major source of cars, with Australians buying 61,953 vehicles made there this year from the four brands mentioned, plus certain Volvos.
This doesn’t include the Tesla Model 3, which is made in Shanghai but not counted in the monthly VFACTS reports. If we did add Tesla, that tally would sit around 70,000.
Only Japan (302,221), Thailand (194,195) and Korea (121,817) are larger sources of cars now, with Germany pushed to fifth on 37,289 YTD.
MG also makes the top-selling light car, the dated but cheap MG 3, which this year has found 11,545 buyers and 31.3 per cent market share.
MG also makes the country’s number-two electric car by volume (ZS EV, behind the Model 3) and plug-in hybrid (HS PHEV).
LDV is making most of its impact in the light commercial space, sitting eighth on the sales charts in this part of the market.
What’s coming from China next? See below.
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