Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 10 News List

New auto complex nears completion

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH BLOOMBERG

The nation's first auto complex is scheduled to open its doors for business in a Taipei suburb early next year, with its shopping mall component to be launched this month.

Developed by Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車), which assembles and sells cars for Nissan Motor Co in Taiwan, the complex comprises three buildings on the auto maker's abandoned factory site in Hsintien, and forms part of the company's plans to dispose of idle land.

10-year timeline

With an investment of NT$7 billion (US$210 million) in the development project, the nation's third-largest auto maker expects to recoup NT$4 billion of the construction costs in 10 years after the 11,000-ping (36,300m2) mall starts operating in the first quarter next year, Yulon Motor vice chairman Kenneth Yan (嚴凱泰) said during a groundbreaking ceremony in December last year.

The first building, which is 12-stories high and has a two-level basement, will include both car showrooms and offices. The second will offer auto maintenance services and a gymnasium that can accommodate between 600 and 1,000 people in a building eight stories high with a two-level basement.

The third building, which will be leased by the French hypermarket Carrefour Taiwan, will be developed as a shopping mall to include theme restaurants, fitness centers, and Carrefour's 34th outlet in Taiwan. It also has eight stories above ground and a two-level basement.

Lilian Lee (李莉莉), public relations manager of Carrefour, the nation's largest hypermarket, said 80 percent of the mall's tenants will be inaugurated later this month, ahead of the schedule arranged for the rest of the complex.

She declined to disclose details on the company's goals for rent or revenue.

`One-stop shopping'

However, during the December ceremony, Yulon Motor president Chen Kuo-rong (陳國榮) projected that, with the goal of offering "one stop shopping" services for customers, the complex would generate more than NT$10 billion in annual sales.

"This is a substantial step for Yulon Motor to transform the 51-year-old company into a manufacturing service provider from an [auto] manufacturer," Yan said.

Third quarter result

Separately, Yulon Motor reported a 45 percent decline in third-quarter profit as sales declined.

Net income fell to NT$1.22 billion from NT$2.2 billion a year ago, according to figures derived by subtracting first-half profit from the nine-month profit reported by the company.

Sales fell 26.5 percent to NT$7.5 billion.

Nine-month profit declined 28 percent from a year ago to NT$4.63 billion. Sales, announced earlier, slipped 2.2 percent to NT$32.8 billion.

Yulon Motor on Oct. 1 announced a profit target of NT$4.6 billion for this year, down 40 percent from a year ago.

Sales may also increase 6 percent from last year to NT$39.6 billion, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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