German luxury automaker Audi AG plans to sell 5,000 vehicles a year in Taiwan by 2015 after it launched a local subsidiary on March 1, a company executive said yesterday.
Audi Taiwan Co (台灣奧迪汽車), with a total investment of NT$1.5 billion (US$43.48 million), is Audi AG’s 12th subsidiary worldwide. Prior to March 1, Liberty Motors Ltd (利奔國際汽車) of the Taikoo Group (太古集團) had been the local distributor of Audi cars for the past six years.
Audi saw 4.1 percent growth in new car sales last year from the same period a year earlier, while net profits before tax rose close to 9 percent to 3.177 billion euros (US$4.1 billion) last year, the company said on Tuesday.
“These figures show that the Audi group is now one of the most profitable and energetic automotive international players in the industry, despite the repercussions of the financial crisis,” Audi Taiwan managing director Daniel Khoo (邱山祥) said yesterday.
Khoo declined to say how many vehicles Audi expected to sell in Taiwan this year, saying it was difficult to estimate because the company was still in the process of building its sales and services network across the nation.
On the outlook for the local auto market, Khoo said new car sales in Taiwan had been declining since 2005, have almost hit rock bottom. However, Khoo said that most Taiwanese customers were just waiting for a better time to buy cars, not because they didn’t have the money.
Taiwan’s new car sales last month climbed 3.7 percent year-on-year to 15,515 units, while imported car sales surged by 50.4 percent to 3,546 units.
The growth in last month’s imported car sales was mainly because last year’s Lunar New Year holiday fell in February, while the holiday was in January this year, Justin Chen (陳勇成), a marketing communication manager of Pan German Motors Ltd (汎德), said yesterday.
Pan German Motors, which sells BMW cars in Taiwan, is cautious on its outlook for this year, Chen said, adding that the company planned to sell between 4,000 to 4,500 cars this year, compared with 4,000 cars last year.
Jess Liu (劉秀盈), a public affairs general manager for Mercedes-Benz Taiwan Ltd (台灣賓士), said the company aimed to sell 5,000 cars this year, which is the same as last year.