China has overtaken Korea to be Australia’s third-biggest source of new cars over the first two months of 2023, but there’s a long way to go before the year is through.

Year-to-date delivery data shows that Australians have taken the keys to 26,111 Chinese-made new cars this year, compared to 24,852 Korean-made cars.

The growth in sales of cars made in China this year is 106.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY), compared to 6.2 per cent growth for Korean imports.

The standings mean China is now number three for sources of new vehicles, behind Thailand (38,998 year-to-date, level YoY) and Japan (48,343, down 17.6 per cent). The latter in particular has been affected by supply chain problems, principally for Toyota.

These figures include sales of various fast-growing Chinese brands including MG, LDV, GWM/Haval and BYD. But it also includes vehicles produced in China by brands based elsewhere such as the Tesla Model 3/Y, Polestar 2, and Volvo XC40.

Expect the number of China-made cars to spike over the course of this year. Not just from the expansion of existing Chinese brands but the launch of new ones such as Ora and Tank (both part of GWM), Chery and JAC Motor.

Following the top four sources of cars (all in Asia) are Germany, the USA, England, Mexico, Spain and Hungary.

Sources of cars sold in Australia Jan-Feb 2023

Country Sales YTD 2023 Change
Japan 48,343 -17.6%
Thailand 38,998 0.0%
China 26,111 106.9%
Korea 24,852 6.2%
Germany 6041 27.6%
USA 5461 25.1%
England 2340 89.6%
Mexico 2164 3.2%
Spain 2160 39.9%
Hungary 1646 80.7%

Sources of cars sold in Australia during 2022 for context

Country Sales 2022 Change
Japan 330,061 -5.9%
Thailand 245,608 6.5%
Korea 159,244 9.8%
China 122,845 61.1%
Germany 41,931 -2.8%
USA 37,947 8.6%
Mexico 14,293 -15.0%
Spain 12,191 8.0%
Hungary 11,371 -8.8%
South Africa 8,699 -23.7%

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