Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 13 News List

New car sales rise as sector recovers

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

New car sales last month grew 4.5 percent from a year ago, from 40,765 units to 42,599 units, as shipments increased after Honda Taiwan Co Ltd (台灣本田) recovered from flooding in Thailand last year, data released yesterday showed.

On a monthly basis, sales of new vehicles grew 23.4 percent last month from 34,508 units in December last year, due to the traditional peak season in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday, statistics compiled by the data communication branch of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) showed yesterday.

Honda Taiwan, which distributes the Accord and Civic models, sold 3,038 cars last month, up 351.4 percent from about 673 units a year ago and up 7 percent from December last year.

Honda Taiwan was the nation’s fourth-largest car distributor last month with a market share of 7.1 percent.

Honda Taiwan’s high year-on-year growth pushed total car sales up from a year ago, despite year-on-year declines registered by the nation’s three largest local car distributors.

FLOOD IMPACT

“This drastic year-on-year increase is attributable to the low base level a year ago, which was caused by flooding in Thailand,” Honda Taiwan spokesman Chen Chun-liang (陳俊亮) said by telephone yesterday.

Chen said the company had been unable to deliver its cars until about March last year due to the flooding in Thailand.

Chen said that economic sentiment had become more positive and he therefore expected the car market to grow slightly.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus models, continued to be the largest car distributor in the nation last month, selling 14,382 units and accounting for 33.8 percent of the market.

Hotai’s number of units last month was up 23.3 percent month-on-month, but down 6.4 percent year-on-year, data showed.

DISTRIBUTION

Hotai spokesman Yu Shiao-chung (喻曉忠) said the 6.4 percent year-on-year decline was because Hotai tried to distribute all its cars by December last year, without delaying distribution until last month.

Despite the slight year-on-year decline last month, Hotai still maintained its forecast that total car sales this year would reach 370,000 units, up from 365,000 of a year ago.

China Motor Corp (CMC, 中華汽車), the runner-up last month, distributed 5,343 Mitsubishis, with a market share of 12.5 percent.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), the third-largest car company last month, sold 5,011 cars, accounting for an 11.8 percent market share, the data showed.

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