Fri, Dec 14, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Luxury car maker expects little growth

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Mercedes-Benz, the third-largest imported car brand in Taiwan, expects the imported car market to grow slightly next year, following lukewarm demand for luxury cars this year because of a slow economy.

The latest industry data showed that the imported car market and the premium car market increased by 2.2 percent and 4.5 percent to 84,909 units and 43,454 units respectively between January and last month, while sales of new cars declined 4.6 percent to 331,363 units during the same period.

Mercedes-Benz sold 1,084 cars last month, down 2.3 percent from October and 5.5 percent year-on-year.

In the first 11 months of the year, its sales fell 2.1 percent to 11,946 cars, data showed.

“The car market was influenced by the economic conditions [this year] and [prospects] next year are a bit uncertain,” Mercedes-Benz Taiwan sales and marketing vice president Andy Stockhecke said yesterday on the sidelines of a press conference.

“[However,] we think we will be stronger next year than this year,” he said.

“The imported car market and the premium car market are less sensitive to the economic situation than the CKD [complete knock down car] market,” Stockhecke said, adding that sales of CKD, or locally assembled cars, may fall this year.

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