I'm pretty sure that someone else has mentioned it, but part of the decline of the local car industry is that cars are increasingly seen by prospective purchasers as an appliance. They only exixt to get you from A to B in reasonable comfort. As long as it's got a decent stereo, comfy seats, and air-con, it'll do. If it only lasts five years, so be it; a new one is cheap. To this end, prices are knocked down, styling is homogenised within each parent brand, parts commonality is increased, and differentiation is largely reduced. People aren't buying Great Walls and Cherry's because they particularly like them; they're buying them, in large part, because they're cheap and, for day-to-day useage, do the job just as well as a more established name. Hence why we get what is arguably pretty average vehicles like the Cruze selling well.
There's a backlash at the same time: car enthusiasts (admittedly a small market) are demaning more
differentiation in their purchases, and this has seen a revival in interest of older cars which are argued to have 'soul'.
As a benefit for people who don't want/need a new car, and aren't after an enthusiasts' vehicle, this has seen a flood of perfectly servicable models onto the 2nd-hand market at knock-down prices. I just acquired a 2001 AU Falcon Wagon to replace the clapped-out Commodore for just $1500. Full service history, intact upholstery, all the buttons work, and more power under the right foot than is useful. Sure, it's the ugly step-sister (although, being a Wagon, it's not nearly as bad as the sedan), but as a 'commuter' car, there's nothing wrong with it.