Lions to dragons: Chinese cars surge as no Holdens sold
Holden sales hit zero and Chinese manufactured cars overtook German in a bonza January new car sales boost.
New car sales are surging across the board with Aussies purchasing more cars last month than in many recent Januaries. But things have changed significantly in just a few years according to Vfacts data.
Released today, Vfacts reports Australian car sales rose 11 per cent in January year-on-year, with 79,666 new cars sold for the first month of 2021. However, for the first month in a very long time, not one Holden was purchased; an expected outcome since GM began its blitz removal of the lion brand last year.
For the greater industry, it has been a significant turn around from the gloomy months when the coronavirus pandemic hit and a very positive uptick. The top five selling brands were Toyota (16,819), Mazda (8508), Hyundai (5951), Kia (5500), and Mitsubishi (5179), with the two Korean brands now firmly in the upper echelons of the local sales chart.
But it is Chinese brands that are making the biggest moves lower in the sales chart, the Asian country now accounting for more car sales than Germany in Vfacts’ ‘Sales by country of origin’ (COO) chart. Sales of Chinese-built vehicles in January eclipsed vehicles produced in the USA, England, and Germany, among others, though they are a way behind South Korea, Thailand and Japan.
Although an indication of a quickly changing mindset in Australia (remember when Holden and Ford dominated the sales charts?) on Chinese cars since the days of early Chery models and the first-generation Great Wall Motors utes, this chart isn’t an exact indicator of brand loyalty, with vehicles from Thailand the second biggest selling COO behind Japan, though many of those vehicles such as Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max are Japanese brands. Also keep in mind some German brand cars are built in other countries.
Vehicle sales by country of origin January 2021 Australia:
At a brand level, the Chinese brands MG, GWM Haval, and LDV saw a tremendous increase month on month, MG up a whopping 160 per cent, GWM Haval 135 per cent and LDV 100 per cent. GWM Haval could see another big month with sales of the new Ute (GWM Ute) finding traction.
At the pointy end, it remains business as usual for the stalwart sellers: Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger sitting at the top of the chart above Toyota Rav4, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan X-Trail and the Kia Cerato.