Australians are now buying more cars made in China than South Korea, with a Shanghai-based Tesla outselling any SUV on the market – and the ever-popular Toyota Corolla missing out on the top 10 cars sold.
In February, 13,625 cars produced in China left the showroom, making it the third most common country of origin for new vehicles after Japan and Thailand.
By comparison, 24,805 cars came from Japan last month, compared to 18,557 from Thailand and 12,246 from Korea, new data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed.
For the second month in a row, there was no traditional petrol passenger car in the top 10, with the Toyota Corolla absent for both months of 2023 to date.
Intriguingly, no Korean cars made the top 10, with the Hyundai Tucson absent in both January and February.
The all-electric Tesla Model 3, made in the Chinese city of Shanghai, was Australia’s third most popular vehicle in February with 2,671 units sold, surpassing every SUV in the market (pictured is an example on South York’s Yorke Peninsula). Australia)
The all-electric Tesla Model 3, made in the Chinese city of Shanghai, was Australia’s third most popular vehicle in February with 2,671 units sold, ahead of every SUV in the market.
Australia’s hottest new cars
1. FORD BOOSTER: 4,473 sales for a ute made in Thailand
2. TOYOTA HILUX: 3,939 sales for a ute made in Thailand
3. TESLA MODEL 3: 2,671 sales for an electric vehicle made in China
4. MAZDA CX-5: 2,600 sales for an SUV made in Japan
5. MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER: 2,166 sales for an SUV made in Thailand
6. TOYOTA RAV4: 2,115 sales for an SUV made in Japan
7. MG ZS: 2,047 sales for an SUV made in China
8. ISUZU D-MAX: 1,931 sales for a ute made in Thailand
9. TOYOTA LAND CRUISER: 1,783 sales for a Japanese-made four-wheel drive
10. SUBARU FORESTER: 1,709 sales for an SUV made in Japan
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries data for February 2023
It made up 45 percent of the 5,932 electric cars sold in Australia in February, with EVs holding a small but growing market share of 6.8 percent.
Only the new-generation Thai-built Ford Ranger ute with 4,473 sales and the Toyota HiLux, with 3,939 sales, beat the Tesla.
Chinese-made cars had two places in the top 10, with the MG ZS SUV accounting for 2,047 sales, with a fully electric model in the range.
The only fully electric cars in the top 10 came from China.
The Thai-built Mitsubishi Outlander, with 2,166 sales, featured a plug-in hybrid EV version.
Vehicles from Thailand held four places in the top 10 list, with the Isuzu D-Max ute accounting for 1,931 sales.
Japanese-built SUVs and all-wheel drive had four places with the Mazda CX-5 with 2,600 sales, compared to 2,115 for the Toyota RAV4 available as a hybrid, 1,783 for the Toyota LandCruiser, and 1,709 for the Subaru Forester.
Australia’s total vehicle sales of 86,878 last month represented the best February result since 2019, which Tony Weber, CEO of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, said was remarkable.
“It’s particularly pleasing given global and domestic supply constraints,” he said.
Fully electric battery, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles had a market share of 13.9 percent, with 12,102 sold.
More charging stations are expected to boost electric car sales.
“The growing sales of electric vehicles proves that when there is a battery-powered electric product that suits the driving habits, needs and finances of Australian motorists, they will buy these vehicles,” said Weber.
Intriguingly, no Korean cars made the top 10 list, with the Hyundai Tucson absent in both January and February (pictured is a plug-in hybrid version in Chicago being considered for Australia)