Tue, Apr 05, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Car sales could be hurt by Japan production slowdown

Staff Writer, with CNA

While car demand in Taiwan remains strong, sales could be affected if Japanese suppliers could not resume full production, market specialists said yesterday.

In the first three months of this year, total car sales reached 106,191 cars, representing an annual growth of 58.4 percent.

Analysts attributed the growth in part to pent-up demand after the financial crisis.

A proposed new tax on high-end goods and services also helped drive up growth, they said.

Last month alone, 9,411 imported or high-end vehicles were sold, up 70.3 percent from a year-earlier and 133.3 percent over February.

Another wave of demand for high-end cars will likely be seen ahead of the government’s introduction of a luxury tax in the second half of this year, said Beldare Motors Ltd (標達汽車), a subsidiary of Taikoo Motors Ltd (太古汽車) and the local Volkswagen dealer.

If the shortage of high-end Japanese cars continues, buyers are likely to switch to European models, the company said.

The March 11 earthquake in Japan has disrupted the production lines of Toyota, Nissan and Honda, affecting their ability to supply the Taiwanese market.

Local manufacturers of Japanese cars said they had enough inventory to last through this month, but they expressed concern that rolling blackouts had affected production resumption in Japan.

“Taiwan’s car market demand is still strong and the current uncertainty is how fast Japanese car makers can resume production,” said Hsieh Fu-lai (謝富來), a spokesman for Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the nation’s largest car retailer and the local dealer for Toyota.

“If there is any delay in the resumption, it could mean a shortfall of more than 10,000 Japanese cars in Taiwan,” he said.

Hotai reported a shortfall of 2,300 cars last month because of production disruption at Toyota’s factories.

This story has been viewed 2428 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top