Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Stronger economy boosts sales of new cars, scooters

Staff Writer, with CNA

The number of newly registered vehicles in Taiwan rose sharply in the first half of the year from the same period last year thanks to a stronger economy, government figures showed on Monday.

A total of 189,000 new cars were registered during this period, 28.7 percent more than in the first six months of last year, according to a report released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

The DGBAS attributed the overall sharp rise in the first half of the year to the country’s improving economy, which has made consumers more willing to buy big-ticket items such as automobiles.

More new cars were sold in the first quarter (106,000 units) than in the second quarter (83,000 units), but it was unclear if the drop-off was caused by slower economic growth or the disruption to the automobile supply chain caused by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Taiwan posted healthy economic growth of 6.55 percent in the first quarter, according to a preliminary estimate by the DGBAS, and was expected to grow 4.64 percent in the second quarter.

Domestic sales of motorcycles and scooters also rose sharply in the first half of the year, growing 22.4 percent year-on-year to 269,000 vehicles.

The increased sales of cars, motorcycles and scooters also meant higher tax revenues for the government, with revenue from excise taxes on vehicle sales rising 22.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$28.3 billion (US$982.8 million), according to the DGBAS.

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