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Sales of China-made new vehicles in Australia have risen 64 per cent to 1727 units over the first quarter of 2018.

For context, Q1 sales of Italian-built vehicles were 1032, while 940 Swedish-built cars found a home. The figure for China-made cars almost topped the number sourced from France (1782). The biggest sources of imports were Japan (89,614), Thailand (77,746) and Korea (42,934).

The LDV brand, a subsidiary of powerhouse SAIC from Shanghai imported by Ateco, led the charge with an impressive 1257 sales over Q1, including 521 in March – up 240 per cent. It even outsold the likes of Skoda, Mini and Peugeot.

Within this range, the T60 dual-cab ute managed 538 sales, the G10 van 306, G10 people mover 196, older V80 van 114 and the new D90 family SUV 103.

LDV’s importer hasn’t yet loaned out press evaluation vehicles, but we’ll get you some reviews as soon as we can.

Another SAIC brand, imported here through different channels, is MG. This former British staple managed 142 sales in March and 252 for Q1, led by the ZS crossover on 114, ahead of the MG6 72, GS on 49 and MG3 on 17.

It’s not all good news for China, however. Haval’s SUV range contracted 8.5 per cent over Q1 to 129 units. The H2 entry model found 54 registrations, ahead of the H6 (43), H9 (30) and H8 (3).

Haval’s parent company Great Wall remains a shadow of its former self from a volume perspective. Its ute rivals are now so much more affordable than they once were, and Steed sales for Q1 were a meagre 88 units.

Additionally, while sales of China-made cars are at their healthiest in ages, they won’t yet beat the record set in 2012, when Australians bought 12,139 Chinese vehicles (11,006 being the then-hugely successful Great Wall family).

MORE: VFACTS: March 2018 new vehicle sales




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