Where our cars actually came from in 2020.
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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.

Not so.

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.

Thailand meanwhile has firmly established itself as the dual-cab capital of Australia with Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and Isuzu D-Max all emanating from the south-east Asian kingdom.

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.

The Slovak Republic is also home to the new Land Rover Defender, with JLR setting up a new factory in Nitra to manufacture the reborn off-roader.

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.

Japan309,601
Thailand213,456
South Korea123,725
Germany58,558
USA33,731
China30,696
England18,916
Hungary13,221
Mexico11,684
Spain10,657
Czech Republic10,613
South Africa9517
France6216
Slovak Republic5557
Poland5020
India4144
Sweden4042
Turkey3588
Finland3541
Argentina3519
Belgium2465
Italy2428
Austria1670
Canada1311
Portugal1261
Romania597
Other27,234