Wed, Dec 05, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Auto sales plunged 11.5% last month

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Sales of new cars plummeted last month from a year earlier owing to a high base last year and weak consumer sentiment, the latest industry data showed.

Vehicle sales totaled 28,726 units last month, up 2.3 percent from October, but down 11.5 percent from the same month last year, statistics compiled by the data communication branch of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) showed on Monday.

Between January and last month, sales of new cars declined 4.6 percent to 331,363 units, the data showed.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) public relations manager Yu Shiao-chung (喻曉忠) said by telephone that the economic uncertainty affected consumers’ willingness to buy cars, while the high base in November last year also contributed to the lower sales this year.

Hotai, which distributes Toyota and Lexus models, continued to lead the market last month, selling 9,912 units and accounting for 34.5 percent of the market.

Last month’s number was up 9.4 percent month-on-month, but down 24.8 percent year-on-year, the data showed.

WEAK FULL YEAR

Yu said Hotai was maintaining its forecast of new vehicle sales nationwide reaching 360,000 units this year, although that figure represents a drop from 378,291 units the previous year.

Yu said it is still possible for the nationwide car sales to hit 28,637 units this month and push the full-year number to reach Hontai’s forecast of 360,000, as car sales usually rise from November through the Lunar New Year, when most automobile companies launch their promotion activities, he added.

China Motor Corp (CMC, 中華汽車), the runner-up last month, distributed 3,110 Mitsubishis, with a market share of 10.8 percent. That was followed by Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), which sold 2,828 cars last month, with a market share of 9.8 percent, data showed.

While both CMC and Yulon saw sales last month fall from a year earlier, sales of Honda cars surged 80.3 percent year-on-year to 2,090 last month, with a market share of 7.3 percent, which Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田) spokesman Chen Chun-liang (陳俊亮) attributed to the launch of new CR-V sport-utility vehicles in October.

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和), the nation’s fifth-biggest automaker, sold 1,618 cars last month, as its new Focus sedan launched last month was well-received in the market, Ford Lio Ho’s communications head Becky Cho (曹鸞姿) said. However, last month’s figure was down 14.7 percent year-on-year, the data showed.

FLAT NEXT YEAR

Total new car sales next year are expected to be at about the same level as this year, Fubon Securities Investment Services Co (富邦投顧) said in a report on Nov. 23.

Fubon forecasts total vehicle sales of 360,000 this year, declining for the first time in four years, and expects sales next year to be flat at about 361,000 units, below the 10-year average of 374,000 units, Fubon Securities analyst Will Hsieh (謝文凱) wrote.

Additional reporting by Kevin Chen

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