Thu, Jan 19, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Yulon Motor Co expects sales to improve this year

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車), the nation's third-largest automobile manufacturer, yesterday said it is eyeing higher revenues this year because of a better economic outlook.

The company is targeting sales of NT$46.07 billion (US$1.43 billion) this year, up from NT$41.13 billion last year, the company said in a press statement released yesterday after its first board meeting of the year.

"This year, the nation's economy is set to post marginal growth, which is in line with global economic sentiment. We will continue to focus on assembling cars for diversified international brands, while at the same time exploring the automobile electronics market," the statement read.

Yulon's profit before tax last year reached NT$6.01 billion, exceeding the firm's target of NT$5 billion. The company will maintain its pretax profit target at NT$5 billion this year, it said, citing market uncertainties.

According to the statistics from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Yulon Motor sold 65,292 vehicles in the local market last year, making it the No. 3 player after Hotai Motor Co's (和泰汽車) 150,324 units and China Motor Corp's (中華汽車) 86,661 vehicles.

Total domestic automobile sales hit 514,626 units last year, up 6.3 percent compared with 484,286 units in 2004. Last year's figures marked the first time in 10 years that local automobile sales exceeded the 500,000-unit mark, the statistics showed.

South East Motor

In related news, South East (Fujian) Motor Co (東南汽車), a 50-50 joint venture between China Motor Corp (中華汽車) and the government of China's Fujian Province, has applied for NT$850 million (US$26.46 million) loan from the Chinese government to expand production in China.

"The loan application was just sent to the related authorities on Tuesday and is still pending official approval," Justine Wang (王文蘭), public relations manager of China Motor, told the Taipei Times.

Under a five-year plan, the Chinese government is offering loans amounting to NT$30 billion for various-sized enterprises registered in China, including Taiwanese firms.

According to Wang, South East (Fujian) Motor needs to raise more capital

this year as it plans to assemble three new vehicle models — Grunder,

Ginger and Lancer — for the Chinese market. South East (Fujian) Motor has

capital of US$138 million.

The company started to make money in the second half of last year and sold

61,000 cars in China last year, up from 60,068 units in 2004. The figure is

expected to rise to 80,000 units this year, China Motor president Huang

Wen-cheng (黃文成) said in a Nov. 28 interview.

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