Top Ten Vehicle Importers to Australia

There are a handful of products and services which manage to awaken a unique flavour of national pride. Many of these traded items break away from their respective marketing departments and become part of a national image. Food can do it, beers and alcohol can do it, but most significantly of all, cars almost always do it. So what's the state of play now? Who is beaming with national pride and who is curiously missing?  Some of the results are genuinely surprising.

The Top Ten

2012 (2011 No.) 2012 (to June) 2011 (to June) Change Year to date
1. Japan (1) 205,319 160,736 +27.7% 
2. S. Korea (3) 73,257 78,407 -6.6%
3. Thailand (2) 70,126 83,750 -16.3%
    Australia (4)  69,676 63,089 +10.4%
4. Germany (4) 46,404     35,822 +29.5%
5. England (5) 12,403 9,619 +28.9%
6. USA (7) 11,908 8,524 +39.7%
7. India (10) 7,459 5,479 +36.1%
8. China (11) 6,563 4,633 +41.7%
9. Spain (8) 6,557 5,853 +12.0%
10. Belgium (9) 5,042 5,815 -13.3%
Total Imported 478,178 433.147 +10.4%
Total Market 547,854 496,236 +10.4%


If Australia was included

Despite all the recent furore over redundancies, high costs and dropping sales for locally made cars, the figures do seem positive. When compared with 2011 they represent an increase in production and sales levels. This is all the more impressive when you realise that the country's competitors no longer have the supply side problems they encountered in 2011. As positive as this all sounds, it must be noted that Australia has only just hit the curve as total sales went up 10.4% in 2012. Amazingly, the locally made and sold figure increase exactly matches the imported one at +10.4%.

Interesting notes

As remarkable as the figures appear, 2012 only represents a return to more familiar figures as Japan in particular gets back to business as usual. Other gains can be put down to a combination of lower interest rates, lower prices at point of sale and the relative strength of the Australian dollar. While many countries posted serious gains, the rise of India and China is particularly interesting. In terms of figures they don’t necessarily impress, however they are moving up the chart slowly but surely. In terms of top ten position, theirs represents the most significant jumps.

Final thoughts

Yes, there are some surprises (Who knew Belgium and Spain were ahead of India and China in 2011?) however there is nothing new or radical about the 2012 figures. Apart from a buoyant year on the car sales front and a small jump for China and India, there is not a lot of change in the list. Like the other top ten lists, this one also seems to move and change slowly but surely. In this sense the small trends in this list are likely to become large movements if looked at over longer timeframes.

What do you think of the imported top ten?

Do you think Australians will continue to buy locally made vehicles?

Please comment below.

Check out our other top tens.

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