Sales of Chinese cars in Australia have overtaken those from Germany and the USA for the first three months of this year – led by MG which made it into the Top 10 for the second month in row and ahead of fellow brands LDV and Great Wall Motors which made it into the Top 20.
It is the first time in our automotive history that China has been the fourth-biggest source of motor vehicles after Japan, Thailand and South Korea in a quarterly-year tally.
Sales of Chinese cars were up by a staggering 164.5 per cent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2020 – in an overall new-car market that grew by 13 per cent over the same period.
By comparison, sales of vehicles from Japan were up by 24.3 per cent year-to-date, versus Thailand (down 3.9 per cent) and South Korea (up 11.9 per cent).
In raw numbers, Japan is still Australia’s number one source of new motor vehicles, with 94,434 sold in the first three months of 2021, ahead of Thailand (56,132), South Korea (36,997) and China (15,275).
Sales of cars from Germany (10,436) and the US (6312) followed.
China had been the sixth biggest source of new motor vehicles last year – after a staggering 70 per cent increase compared with 2019 – but is now settled comfortably in fourth place.
Former British brand MG, which was bought by Chinese car giant SAIC in 2007, posted by far the biggest gains among its counterparts.
After returning to Australia in 2017 under new ownership, MG sales have skyrocketed from 3000 deliveries in 2018, 8300 sales in 2019, to a record 15,253 vehicles reported as sold in 2020. It is on track for another record and a first-time Top 10 annual result.
Among the Chinese brands, the big improvers in March 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 year.
MG reported 3303 new cars as sold in March 2021, more than double the same month as last year (up 167 per cent), with the MG ZS SUV the brand’s top-selling model (pictured above).