A record number of new motor vehicles sourced from China were reported as sold in Australia last month, as the rest of the industry grappled with semiconductor shortages.
Chinese brands MG, Great Wall Motors-Haval, and LDV posted record new-car sales results last month – and, combined, delivered the largest market share of China-sourced vehicles in Australia to date.
While Japan remains the largest source of motor vehicles in Australia (36.2 per cent) ahead of Thailand (23.6 per cent) and South Korea (14.7 per cent), vehicles made in China continued their epic sales growth and last month accounted for 8.2 per cent of all new motor vehicles sold in Australia.
New motor vehicles from Germany (3.2 per cent) and the US (2.3 per cent) were next on the list of source countries.
The January 2022 figure does not include Tesla because it does not supply a breakdown of monthly sales. However, the Chinese-made Tesla Model 3 would likely push the market share of China-sourced vehicles in Australia closer to 10 per cent.
According to the official scoreboard published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), MG ranked seventh outright in January 2022 – behind Ford and ahead of Subaru – with a 46.9 per cent sales gain compared to the same month the prior year.
Fellow Chinese brand Great Wall Motors Haval posted a sales gain of 51.2 per cent to rank 16th, and LDV was up 36.6 per cent to finish the month in 17th spot.
While MG has delivered its sales growth with a range of SUVs and a budget-priced small car, Great Wall Motors and LDV have largely been driven by ute sales.
All three Chinese brands have posted phenomenal sales increases in a short period of time, and have capitalised on interrupts to production across the rest of the car industry due to ongoing semiconductor shortages globally.
While ute sales remain strong for Great Wall Motors and LDV – swapping the lead among themselves for the past 12 months – they too have been impacted by supply constraints.
Against the odds, Great Wall Motors and LDV are now well established inside the Top 20 sellers list. Last month they ranked ahead of Audi and Volvo and behind Suzuki and Honda.
But MG remains the dominant player among the three Chinese brands – even without a ute.
In 2018, MG finished the year in 30th position on the new-car sales charts, climbed to 21st place in 2019, 17th in 2020 and cracked into the Top 10 for the first time in 2021, in ninth place – behind Volkswagen and ahead of Subaru.
In the past seven months, MG cars have ranked inside the Top 10 list of best-selling models on five occasions.
Last month – January 2022 – was the first time two MG cars were listed in the Top 10 list of best-selling models.
The rise of new cars from China has been more rapid that the arrival of car brands from Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
New cars sold in Australia and sourced from China have overtaken those from the USA since August 2020 onwards. China overtook USA and Germany combined from January 2021 onwards.
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