Australians continue to buy a record number of new cars from China, which has now overtaken Germany and the USA to become our fourth-biggest source of motor vehicles.
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Australian sales of cars from China have overtaken those from Germany and the USA for the first time in our automotive history – following an astronomical 156 per cent sales surge in January 2021.

While China was the sixth biggest source of new motor vehicles last year – after a staggering 70 per cent increase compared with 2019 – China now ranks in fourth place behind Japan, Thailand and South Korea.

Official sales figures for January 2021 released today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show sales of Chinese cars (4198) overtook both Germany (3078) and the USA (2056) for the first time.

Since August 2020, sales of Chinese cars ranked between Germany and the USA. However, January 2021 marks the first time China has overtaken both Germany and the USA.

Among the Chinese brands, the biggest improvers in January 2021 were MG and LDV (both of which are owned by Chinese conglomerate SAIC), and the recently renamed GWM Haval, which has begun combining its sales results across both brands from this month.

In January 2021 versus the same month last year, MG sales were up by 162 per cent (from 919 to 2408) and the brand narrowly finished outside the Top 10 (in 11th place). LDV sales were up by 100 per cent (from 384 to 770), and GWM Haval sales were up by 135 per cent (from 326 to 769).

Here is the country of origin data below:

Source country of motor vehiclesJanuary 2021 salesPercentage change
Japan29,275up 29.6 per cent
Thailand16,903down 6.1 per cent
South Korea11,516up 11.5 per cent
China4198up 156 per cent
Germany3078down 42 per cent
USA2056down 38 per cent

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.