Chinese Brands Surge in Australia’s Automotive Market
Australia has emerged as a key market for Chinese automotive exports, ranking as the third-largest destination for Chinese vehicles according to customs data. In June 2023, the Australian automotive market saw robust growth, with sales reaching 124,900 vehicles, a remarkable 25% year-on-year increase. This single-month figure marked the third-highest sales volume since June 2017 (134,200 vehicles) and June 2018 (130,300 vehicles).
Cumulatively, from January to June 2023, the market achieved total sales of 581,200 vehicles, reflecting an 8.2% year-on-year growth rate. The local market has become increasingly receptive to Chinese brands, with their presence and market share on the rise.
In June 2023, Chinese brands achieved sales of 15,100 vehicles, experiencing an impressive 88.23% year-on-year growth, which propelled their market share to a historical high of 12.07%. This significant growth placed Chinese brands as the fourth-largest car series in the local market, trailing behind Japanese brands with a 43.8% market share, American brands with 14.23%, and Korean brands with 13.45%.
During the first half of 2023, Chinese brands maintained their strong momentum, reaching cumulative sales of 64,500 vehicles, marking a remarkable 58.01% increase year-on-year and securing an 11.08% market share. Once again, Chinese brands ranked as the fourth-largest car series in the local market, following Japanese brands with a 46.36% market share, Korean brands with 13.96%, and American brands with 12.87%.
Among the top ten brands in the Australian market for June 2023, Chinese automotive manufacturer SAIC’s MG brand secured the seventh spot with 6,016 vehicles sold, accounting for a 4.8% market share. MG emerged as the best-selling Chinese brand in the country.
Other Chinese brands also demonstrated their presence in the Australian market, with Great Wall Motors ranking 11th, selling 3,897 vehicles with a 3.12% market share; SAIC Volkswagen’s LDV ranked 14th, selling 2,760 vehicles with a 2.21% market share, and BYD ranked 19th, selling 1,532 vehicles with a 1.23% market share.
During the first half of 2023, the cumulative sales for the top ten brands amounted to 384,300 vehicles, claiming 66% of the overall market share. MG maintained its position as the seventh-best-selling brand, selling 26,700 vehicles with a 4.59% market share.
Among other Chinese brands, Great Wall Motors achieved cumulative sales of 17,500 vehicles with a 3.0% market share; LDV sold 11,300 vehicles with a 1.93% market share, and BYD sold 6,196 vehicles with a 1.1% market share.
In the top 20 best-selling models for June 2023, two Chinese brand models made the list: MG’s MG ZS and BYD’s Atto3.
The top-selling model in Australia for June was the Toyota Hilux, selling 6,142 vehicles with a 4.9% market share, followed by the Ford Ranger in the third position with 5,334 vehicles sold and a 4.3% market share. MG’s MG ZS secured the fourth position, selling 3,756 vehicles and capturing a 3% market share, marking an impressive 1.68-fold year-on-year increase, overtaking the perennial best-seller, Toyota RAV4. The cumulative sales for MG ZS reached 13,600 vehicles for the year.
BYD’s Atto3 claimed the 17th position with 1,532 vehicles sold, becoming the second-best-selling electric vehicle after Tesla’s Model Y, surpassing the sales of Model 3.
Looking at the retail prices of top models, in the first half of 2023, the Chinese brands excelled in the small sedan and mid-size SUV segments, leading the way in terms of affordability compared to Korean brands, although they still trail behind Japanese and German brands.
Overall, Chinese brands have made significant strides in the Australian automotive market, demonstrating their growing popularity among consumers, and their continued success is expected to impact the industry landscape in the years to come.