Japan tops the list, followed by Thailand. Oh, and that German car you're buying? It might actually be American...
Besides a few locally-built stragglers on dealer lots, every new car sold in Australia is imported. We've combed through VFACTS data (okay, looked at a table and done some basic maths) to work out which part of the world supplies us the most cars, and which the fewest.
It should come as no surprise to hear Japan leads the way when it comes to imports, given it's a right-hand drive market like ours. Of the 605,522 cars registered to the end of June 2018, a whopping 184,398 originated there, accounting for 30.45 per cent of the market.
For the sake of comparison, that's well up on the 172,984 it had managed by mid-2017.
Our never-ending love for dual-cab utes has driven Thailand to second place on the import ladder, with 159,421 vehicles delivered and a 26.33 per cent market share by the end of June. There aren't any Thai brands on offer Down Under, but it's the source for utes like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger – the best- and second-best selling vehicles in the country.
Last podium place belongs to South Korea, with 91,368 vehicles delivered and a 15.1 per cent share of the Australian pie. Hyundai and Kia continue to grow locally, helping drive the increase from 88,942 sales in the first half of 2017.
Germany is the fourth-largest supplier to Australia, but trails Korea by a significant margin, with 8.35 per cent market share from its 50,589 sales. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all source some of their cars from Deutschland, while the Holden Commodore is manufactured in Russelsheim, south-west of Frankfurt.
Of course, buying from a German brand doesn't mean you're getting a car made in Germany. BMW's best-selling car for June, the X3, is actually from America's deep south. The X5 is the same, and the and the hulking X7 will be as well. The badge is German, sure, but they're built in South Carolina.
Mercedes-Benz is aboard the North American manufacturing train, too. It builds the GLE and GLS in Vance, Alabama, just down the road from Woodstock. Nope, not the fun one. While we're playing this game, Audi builds the Q5 in Mexico, while the Volkswagen Polo comes from South Africa. There are more examples, of course – these are just a few notable ones.
Oh, and China is on the march Down Under. A not-insignificant 4399 of the vehicles registered locally this year were made in China, up on 2390 at the same point last year.