Vehicles from China are defying the downward trend in Australian new-car sales.
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Chinese car makers continue to defy the downward trend in Australia’s new-car market, with latest figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showing a 36 per cent increase in the first five months of this year versus the same period in 2019.

That’s bucking the current trend where new car sales have taken a hammering thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting recession.

Sales across the total new-car market from January through May 2020 are down 23.6 per cent compared with the same period last year, thanks to a 35 per cent drop in May and a whopping 48.5 per cent decline in April.

Defying the downward trend, Chinese manufactured vehicles accounted for 8026 sales over the same period, an increase of 2126 when compared with last year.

Of those, the reborn Chinese-owned MG brand is by far the busiest, reporting 4394 sales so far in 2020, an increase of 62.5 per cent on the 2704 cars it sold over the same period in 2019.

Doing the heavy-lifting for MG is the MG3 with 2270 sales so far in 2020, an uplift of 92.9 per cent. It’s the second-best seller in the Light car category with only the evergreen Toyota Yaris besting it, with 3241 sales in 2020. The small SUV MG ZS accounted for 1322 sales from the period January to May.

Chinese brand Haval too has seen a big jump, almost doubling sales year-on-year with an increase of 96.7 per cent, albeit off a low base – 889 compared with 457. The bulk of those sales came from Haval’s small SUV, the H2, with 579 units sold so far, an increase of 153.9 per cent compared to 2019.

Also coming off a low base, China's Great Wall Motors recorded a 19.5 per cent upswing, with 581 total sales of its Steed dual-cab ute versus 486 over the same period last year. Of those 581 sales, the Steed 4x2 outsold the four-wheel drive 4x4, 382 against 199.

Only LDV suffered a drop in sales, down 6.3 per cent year-on-year, shifting 2111 new vehicles in 2020 against the 2253 it sold in the same period in 2019.

However, the T60 dual-cab ute accounted for more than half of LDV’s sales so far in 2020, with 1201 new registrations, an increase of 5.7 per cent.

LDV’s large SUV, the D90 recorded a 67.6 per cent increases, albeit off a very low base, with 145 sales against 2019’s 74 sales.

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.