It’s easy to think a car’s country of origin is the nation where the manufacturer is headquartered. All Toyotas come from Japan, all BMWs from Germany, for instance.
According to data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the country of origin of our new cars are many and varied. In 2020 alone, at least 26 different countries built and manufactured cars that made their way to Australia and into our driveways.
The headline acts shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, Japan leading the way with around a third of all our new cars hailing from the land of the rising sun.
The United States not only manufactures our Jeeps, and some of our Fords, but also premium European offerings such as BMW X5. Incidentally, with annual exports of around 250,000 vehicles, with a value of nearly US$10 billion, BMW is the largest automotive exporter in the US.
That’s a common theme amongst nations, with carmakers spreading their manufacturing wings far and wide. The BMW X3 comes from South Africa as do some variants, though not all, of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan. AMG models, coupes, convertibles and wagons still hail from Germany.
The wider Volkswagen Group leans heavily on the Slovak Republic, with the Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg both coming from VW’s Bratislava plant. And so too is Porsche’s large SUV, the Cayenne, which holds the distinction of being the only Porsche not manufactured in Germany. The Volkswagen Amarok meanwhile, calls Argentina its manufacturing home.
Mexico is home to thriving manufacturing industry too, giving us the Audi Q5 and, up until 2020, Holden Equinox. Volkswagen, meanwhile, draws supply of the Tiguan Allspace from Mexico, but five-seat models are German-sourced.
And, as the tentacles of globalisation spread ever further, Romania joined the car manufacturing party, Ford’s Puma coming from the Blue Oval’s new state-of-the-art factory in Craiova.
Here then, is the complete list of where our cars came from in 2020.
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