Chinese automotive companies are bucking this year’s decline to the Australian car market and sales of China-made cars in Australia doubled year-on-year in October.

Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, notes that Australia has been witnessing declining automotive sales since 2019 and the onset of COVID-19 saw the market trend deteriorate further (the market saw a year-on-year decline of 48.5% in April 2020). However, Agwan says four of the most prominent Chinese brands managed to report increase in sales even in these challenging times.

“Reportedly, year-to-date (YTD) sales of Chinese origin vehicles in Australia increased by 51.8% in October even though the overall vehicle sales YTD declined by 18.8% (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries) compared to the prior year period,” Agwan says.

Agwan notes that prominent Chinese vehicle manufacturers operating in Australia include MG Motors, Haval, Great Wall Motors and LDV, of which MG Motors accounts for the majority of the sales. All the four brands managed to gain market share with year-on-year increases in YTD 2020 sales of 67.8%, 84.1%, 26.1% and 22%, respectively.

“The SUV segment holds majority share in Australia’s new vehicle sales,” maintains Agwan. “Affordability and the capability to offer better value preposition as compared to other Japanese/German brands are keeping the Chinese OEMs in a strong position.  In addition, Chinese vehicles are successfully transforming their hampered brand image by offering new products with enhanced design, safety and quality. Attractive offers and unlimited kilometres warranty are also luring customers to opt Chinese brands.”

Agwan also says that the Chinese makers are being helped as established brands – such as Toyota – increase their vehicle prices.

“Recovering economic activities, government initiatives to boost sales and more accessible finance options further offer opportunities to Chinese OEMs to increase their presence in the market,” Agwan adds.