Sun, Dec 25, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan’s largest-ever auto show opens in Taipei

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s biggest-ever auto show opened at 10am yesterday, with people lining up outside the exhibition hall in Taipei hours before the doors opened.

At 9:30am, there were hundreds of car fanatics waiting outside Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1, hoping to be among the first to see the latest cutting-edge designs from 34 local and international brands.

Lee Min-chen and her college classmate, Weng Tzu-lien, arrived at about 8:30am to be at the head of the line.

She said they could not wait to see some of the “state-of-the-art models.”

“I would love to see the makes of Bentley,” said Lee, 18, who added that she played with model cars instead of Barbie dolls when she was young.

The Taipei International Auto Show, which takes place every other year and is being held for the 19th time this year, features almost 200 new models, the most in its history.

Concept cars, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and hybrid vehicles, are on display along with sports cars, sport utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles.

The show attracts not only car lovers and buyers, but also students studying automobile-related fields, who want to see the latest industry trends.

A total of 500 models, including television celebrity and pop singer Amber An (安心亞) and professional model Akemi (香月明美), added more excitement to the show and helped to attract even more people, organizers said.

One show girl said the pay per day for models ranges between NT$2,000 and NT$6,000, with the famous ones earning much more.

With various discounts and promotions on offer, as well as an increase in prices next year weighing on people’s minds, the organizers said they expected sales to be strong during the nine-day show.

The event comes as the Ministry of Economic Affairs recently forcast that car sales this year could reach 380,000 units, a record high since 2005.

The event, which ends on Jan. 1, is expected to attract more than 190,000 visitors, the organizers said.

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