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Australian car market thriving as newcomers gain significant market share

New car brands continue to succeed in the Australian market despite supply chain issues and the lingering effects of the pandemic.

In the last nine years, 10 new car brands have entered the market, making a total of 53 brands—that are listed in VFACTS—available in Australia.

Those 10 new brands now account for 17 per cent of the total new car market.

The bulk of these brands are from Chinese manufacturers and the vehicles from two other car makers, Tesla and Polestar, are made in China for that particular market. Unsurprisingly, cars originating in China now account for 15.9 per cent of the Australian market.

Brands that entered the Australian car market during the pandemic were BYD, Cupra and Polestar, all in 2022, and Chery in 2023. Brands that entered the market before the pandemic include LDV and Tesla in 2014, MG in 2017, Chevrolet in 2018 and Genesis in 2019.

Great Wall Motors, who entered in 2016 before gaining momentum in 2020 introduced Haval, Tank and Ora brands under their umbrella.

 MG’s ZS SUV had the most buyer interest along with the MG3, which sold 3729 and 4017 units in 2019 respectively, pushing MG to a 0.8 per cent market share. The sales incentive contributing to their success was a seven-year unlimited distance warranty and a $15,990 (MC3 Core) starting price with automatic transmission. The ZS started at $20,990.

Despite the pandemic and the supply chain issues that came after, MG sold 49,582 units by 2022 in Australia and had a 4.6 per cent market share, which is greater than established brands like Volkswagen and Nissan.

Currently, MG has three models including the all-electric ZS and sells almost four times the volume of Honda.

LDV came onto the market in 2014, managing 214 sales that same year. To May of this year, LDV has sold 8,490 units, an increase of 38.3 per cent compared to the same time in 2022. The car brand has a 1.9 per cent market share, slightly below BMW.

The most renowned newcomer is Tesla. The Tesla 3 accounts for 49 per cent of the total mid-size passenger car with 10,117 sales this year, which is almost four times higher than that of the next best-selling car, Toyota’s Camry.

The Model Y is experiencing a similar level of success, as it sold 8,717 cars in 2022 and 8,442 from January to May 2023. The Model Y was the second-highest-selling new car in Australia for June 2023, knocking off the Ford Ranger from its second-place perch for the first time in years.

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