Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 11 News List

New vehicle registrations hit new high in January

STAFF WRITER

The number of owners of locally made vehicles applying for license plates -- an indicator of new vehicle sales -- hit a record high last month, rising 29.6 percent to 75,663 vehicles from the same period a year ago, according to Ministry of Transportation and Communications' statistics.

New car registrations by Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes both Toyota and Lexus cars here, also hit a new record last month of more than 20,000 cars.

Hotai Motor, which sold 133,726 vehicles last year, sold 20,889 last month. It had a 27.6 percent share of the domestic passenger car market, according to the ministry's statistics.

Hotai Motor reported NT$4.06 billion in pre-tax revenues last year, with a NT$7.5 in earnings per share, another record high.

Hotai Motor was followed by China Motor Corp (中華汽車) which sold 13,548 units for a 17.91 percent market share and Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) with 11,276 units, or 14.91 percent. Ford Lio Ho Motor Co's (福特六和) sale of 10,420 units placed it in fourth place with a 13.78 percent market share.

Yulon makes cars for Nissan Motor Co here, while China Motor assembles Mitsubishi vehicles.

While companies still plan to launch new models in the first half of the year, the total number of new car registrations is only expected to reach around 485,000 vehicles this year, because of concerns over the rising price of steel and crude oil as well as a possible slowdown in the local economy, said Hotai Motor spokesman Steven Yang (楊湘泉).

Last year, new car registrations totaled 484,200 units, a 17.03 percent increase from the 413,741 units sold in 2003, according to the ministry's statistics.

Best sellers

* Hotai Motors ranked No.1 in new vehicle registrations last month: 20,899

* China Motor was ranked second, followed by Yulon Motors and Ford Lio Ho


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