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Feeling locked out of the EV market? This new wave of brands may change that.


We’re already witnessing the start of a revolution in the Australian car market. With the influx of Chinese car manufacturers entering the scene, we could soon see a dramatically changed automotive landscape, with legacy brands feeling the pressure and new logos appearing on our roads.

The Australian new-car market reached an all time high in 2023, with 1.2 million vehicles sold and 2024 has followed with a strong start. Sales were bolstered by broader choices in the market, more accessible pricing, increased stock availability and a surge of interest in electric vehicles.

New car buyers are showing a willingness to switch brands like never before, tipping the scales toward Chinese manufacturers entering or reentering the Australian market. For the first time, China entered the top 3 countries of origin, leapfrogging Korea, and trailing only behind Japan and Thailand.

The early 2010s saw the first wave of Chinese manufacturers bringing their cars to our shores, but recalls, safety ratings, distribution issues and limited sales led to withdrawals from the Aussie market within a few years. It’s clear that brands learnt their lesson in the Aussie market and came back strong in the early 2020’s, with brands like MG and BYD thriving. Car makers from Japan and Korea faced similar issues in the 1970s and 1990s, battling consumer scepticism before the foreign brands became a beloved part of our roads. Building trust with Australian consumers has been a long road, aided by joint ventures with trusted brands like Toyota and Volkswagen, manufacturing plants in China established by Tesla, and acquisition of trusted brands like Volvo by Chinese companies.

One way this new wave of manufacturers has caught the interest of Aussie drivers is their injection of electric vehicle options into a market that’s lagged behind the rest of the world. While the old guard of market leaders, like Toyota and Mazda, have dragged their feet introducing electric vehicle options to Oz, manufacturers like MG and GWM have charged ahead with EV offerings, filling the gap for affordable options left by luxury brands like Tesla and Volvo.

So what new brands can you expect to see on the road in the near future?
In 2024 expect SUVs and people movers from newcomer Zeekr, the return of Smart cars, a Chery sister brand Jaecoo, a Model Y sized electric SUV by Xpeng and budget-friendly city hatches from Leapmotor.

Looking further ahead in 2025, Skywell anticipates the launch of their mid-size electric SUV, GAC Group and Aion have high hopes of becoming a top 10 seller within five years with their hybrid and electric offerings, Chery plans to expand further with Jetour SUVs and Changan Deepal is rumoured to be eyeing an Australian launch of their hybrid SUV.

Amidst a cost-of-living crisis, many Aussies feel locked out of the electric car market, but brands like BYD, MG and the anticipated brand Leapmotor are giving everyday Australians the ability to pursue eco-friendly motor options. These EVs are made even more accessible by the electric vehicle exemption, which makes leasing an EV priced under $89,332 completely exempt from Fringe Benefit Tax, saving our customers thousands per year.