Motor Vehicles


Motor vehicle origins in Australia in 2016 were below

Thailand23,800 units
Japan 23,300 units
Korea 12,700 units
Australia 6,950 units
Germany 6,600 units
USA 4,100 units
UK 3,000 units
Spain 1,500 units
South Africa 1,100 units
Czech Republic 800 units
China 237 units

Whilst car imports from China were relatively minor at that time, recent reports suggest that annual sales growth is up to 50%, mainly spearheaded by the former English brand MG.

Chinese companies are also involved in the supply of parts to many of the world’s major manufacturers, as well as joint ventures and the development of their own brands.

This sector is strategically important, because motor vehicle manufacture provides a base for precision metal and plastics and electronics technologies, which are readily transferrable to the production of military equipment.

However; the really intriguing thing about the motor vehicle industry is how easy it is to find alternatives – hit them where it hurts most. Put the pressure on your dealer – check the compliance plate.

Australia’s most popular motor vehicle brands in 2019 were:


Major production facilities all over the world, like most major manufacturers. Have a number of factories in China and procure some parts for their plants in India. Toyota have joint ventures with Chinese manufacturers FAW and Guangzhou.


Mainly manufacture in Japan, North America and Thailand. Have a joint venture with China’s Chang’an Automobile to make Mazda vehicles, mainly for the Chinese market and also with FAW.


Closed their Beijing plant in May 2019, after China’s boycott of South Korean businesses cost it an operating loss of $1 billion in 2020. They have boosted manufacturing in India. Mainly produce vehicles in South Korea and the US.


Mainly produce in Japan and the US, but have a joint venture with China’s Guangzhou to make engines and assemble ASX and Outlander models.


Manufacturing plants in the US, Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Japan and the UK etc. A proposal to make the Focus Active in China was recently dropped, after pressure from the Trump Administration, but they are part of the Mazda/ Chang’an joint venture and also have a joint venture with JMC.


Mainly produced in South Korea, US and Mexico. Shut down one of its key China plants in 2019, due to the 2017 boycott, precipitated by South Korea’s deployment of a US-made missile defence system.


Manufacture approximately 20 models of cars, sports cars and SUVs, as well as vans, trucks and buses in Algeria, Argentina, Australia, etc, etc, etc, and also China. Through Daimler, Mercedes and China’s BYD Auto made the Denza Han and Tang battery vehicles. Beijing Benz is a joint venture with BAIC to produce Mercedes cars in China.


Produce in Japan, US, Mexico and many other countries. Have five joint venture plants in China, mainly with Dongfeng.


Heavily involved, with 23 of their 123 worldwide plants in China and hold 18% of the China car market through joint ventures with SAIC, JAC and FAW.


Manufacture in Japan, Mexico, US, Thailand, Brazil, UK, Pakistan, Canada, India and Turkey, have Chinese joint ventures with Guangzhou and Dongfeng.


Ah yes, the Bavarian Motors Works joins our site; these days including the Mini and Rolls Royce. Production is mainly in Germany, but also Brazil, India, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, UK, US and China. A number of 5 series and 3 series models are produced at Shenyang. The BMW iX3 is Made in China ( and they reportedly produce 9,000 vehicles per day in that country.

Made In China

China’s unit production of cars is the largest in the world. Most are for internal use, but attention has turned increasingly to exports in recent years, with more than 800,000 units exported in 2011. Big push into electric cars, including MG, Tesla 3, BYD, Polestar 2 and BMW iX3.

BAIC (State Owned)

Make the Foton vehicle and have a joint venture, BJEV with Mercedes Benz.

BYD (Build Your Dreams)

Based in Shezhen. In addition to their joint venture with Daimler (see Mercedes above), have just (Feb 2022) launched the BYD Atto3 in Australia – known as the BYD Yuan Plus elsewhere

Chang’an Automobile Group (State Owned)

Have joint ventures with Suzuki, Ford, Mazda and Peugeot/ Citroen.

Chery (State Owned)

Currently only a left-hand drive version of the Chery itself. Have joint ventures with Jaguar and Land Rover.

Dongfeng Motor Corporation (State Owned)

Joint ventures include Cummins, Honda, Nissan, Peugeot/ Citroen and Renault.

FAW (State Owned)

Have joint ventures with Audi, GM, Mazda, Toyota and VW.

Geely (Privately Owned)

Now own Volvo, but have run it largely with a “hands off” approach to their design and production facilities, except for the new electric Polestar2, which is Made In China. Also own 51% of Lotus. Also own the Malaysian Proton.

Great Wall (Privately Owned)

Currently export to Australia and reported to have recently reported to have purchased GM’s former Colorado factory in Thailand. Also own the Haval brand.

Guangzhou Automobile Group (State Owned)

Have joint ventures with Fiat, Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

SAIC (State Owned)

Manufacture MG vehicles, currently exported to Australia. Also own the former Leyland DAF vans (LDV). Other well-known brands (together with GM) are Buick and Chevrolet; also Iveco, Skoda and VW.


Have one plant in China. Tesla 3 electric car is Made In China.

13 thoughts on “Cars”

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