Sales of Chinese cars in Australia have rise by an average of 48.2 per cent in the first seven months of this year – as the overall market slowed by by 19.2 per cent.
Four Chinese brands are currently offered to consumers in Australia – namely MG, LDV, Great Wall and Haval.
Figures compiled by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show MG sales grew by 55.1 per cent in the seven months to the end of July compared to the same period last year, Great Wall sales grew by 26.1 per cent, Haval sales grew by 105 per cent, and ute and van specialist LDV grew by 6.6 per cent.
Cumulatively, the four manufactures sold 13,341 cars in the first seven months of 2020. This represents 2.6 per cent of all cars sold nationally.
Last year the same companies represented 1.5 per cent of all cars sold nationally over the same period.
Hans Hendrischke, a Professor of Chinese Business and Management at The University of Sydney, told CarAdvice the exponential growth of these companies is driven by a range of factors.
"It certainly reflects lower manufacturing costs – they operate at economies of scale that they don't have anywhere else – but they also enter new markets with very competitive pricing," said Professor Hendrischke.
Of the 69 manufacturers listed in the report, only seven non-Chinese brands experienced a growth in sales over the same period.
These were Audi (up 6.1 per cent), Genesis (up 41.7 per cent), Mercedes-Benz Vans (up 7.7 per cent), Ram (up 45.6 per cent), SsangYong (up 604.1 per cent), Daf (up 6.9 per cent), and Hyundai Commercial Vehicles (up 9.7 per cent).
Volvo, which is based in Sweden but builds some cars in China for the Australian market, saw a 6.6 per cent drop in sales.
Chinese manufacturer Kandi, which last month unveiled the cheapest electric car on the US market, did not comment on whether they planned to sell cars in Australia when contacted by CarAdvice.
The Kandi K27, which produces just 20kW and has a top speed of 100kmh, will cost $US12,999 (approximately $AU18,328) when it goes on sale in the US later this year.