Fri, Jan 07, 2000 - Page 18 News List

Local car makers confident of a rise in sales figures
for coming year

By Tu Po-heng  /  STAFF REPORTER

China Motor Corporation (??華汽車) and Yulon Motors (裕隆汽車) are confident that car sales will pick up this year, despite the 10.7 percent drop in car sales in the Taiwan market last year.

China Motors, which had the highest sales among all local car makers in 1999, projects that its total sales in Taiwan and overseas markets will reach 150,000 units this year, up 22 percent from 1999's 123,047 units, said Su Ching-yang (蘇慶陽), president of China Motors.

"We aim to sell 95,200 units in Taiwan and 55,840 units in overseas markets," said Su.

"However, that outcome might be affected by the presidential election in March, the cross-strait relationship, and an appreciation of the Japanese yen, which would increase import costs."

China Motors, a local maker of Mitsubishi models, led sales in Taiwan with 97,834 units, down 9.4 percent from 1998. Next came Kuozui Motors Ltd (國瑞汽車), a local marker of Toyota models, followed by Yulon, a local car maker of Nissan models.

After realizing sales of NT$1.75 billion in December last year, China Motors registered total sales last year of NT$50.77 billion, higher than the NT$49 billion originally forecast.

This year, the company has projected sales of NT$51 billion.

Meanwhile, Yulon anticipates that its 1999 pre-tax profits will reach NT$4.5 billion, up from the NT$4.2 billion forecast the company made in August. Yulon registered pre-tax profits of NT$6.9 billion in 1998.

In 1999, Yulon's car sales dropped an anticipated 16.8 percent from the 1998 figure to 72,033.

The fall was blamed on a lack of new models launched in the market, the 921 earthquake, and the appreciation of the Japanese yen.

To improve sagging sales, the company plans to introduce two to three new car models this year.

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