Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Cabstar boosts shares of Yulon

GOOD NEWS Japan's Nissan Motor announced yesterday that its local partner would manufacture the light truck model for the Taiwanese and Mexican markets this year

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shares of Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車), the nation's No. 1 automaker by market value, rose yesterday after reports said it would start manufacturing a lightweight truck for the Taiwanese and Mexican markets later this year.

Yulon Motor, which assembles vehicles for Nissan Motor Co of Japan, saw its shares rise 4.2 percent to close at NT$43.50 (US$1.32) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, marking its highest close since April 5, 2004.

The news came after Nissan Motor yesterday announced its local partner Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產) would market the next-generation Cabstar light truck in Taiwan by November. The light truck will also be exported to Mexico by Yulon Nissan in November, the Japanese automaker said.

The introduction of the Cabstar also reflects Yulon Nissan's bid to establish a stronger position in the Taiwanese commercial light truck segment.

"The production of the Cabstar will be able to lift up our plant's capacity," Yulon Nissan acting spokesperson Hsieh Ting-lin (謝汀麟) told the Taipei Times by telephone.

Nissan, Japan's third-largest automaker, had previously evaluated few production bases, and Yulon Motor's Miaoli plant was selected to churn out Cabstar for its production quality, he said.

The export of Cabstar comes after Yulon Nissan's export initiative announced in March. It said then that exports would hit 5,000 units in the first year of its initiative, with sales estimated at NT$2.5 billion.

Hsieh declined to say how many Cabstars would be sold locally, but said the company was "not considering exporting Cabstar to markets other than Mexico right now."

But Japan's Nikkei newswire reported that the Japanese automaker targeted sales of 400 trucks a month on the Taiwanese market. The Cabstar made its global debut in Europe last September, followed by its introduction on the Japanese market last month.

For the Mexican market, Cabstar will initially be sourced from Nissan's plant in Avila, Spain, with production shifting to Taiwan later, Nissan said.

Production at Avila will be limited to 2,200 units bound for Mexico to ensure a timely launch, Nissan said.

Locally, Yulon Motor manufactures Nissan models, including the Teana and Bluebird sedans. It also produces cars for Renault SA and General Motors Corp.

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