Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 13 News List

New car sales rise as consumers quit waiting for price drop, snap up offers

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

New car sales last month rose on a monthly and a yearly basis as promotions and perks provided by car distributors proved successful in motivating consumers to spend, vendors said yesterday.

Car purchase numbers were also boosted because consumers stopped waiting for prices to go down after the yen’s rapid depreciation slowed last month and also stopped waiting for the government to offer a new subsidy program for old vehicle replacement, they said.

Industrial data show that 32,579 new vehicles were sold last month, up 6.4 percent from May and 7.6 percent from the same month a year ago.

However, total car sales in the first half of the year still dropped 2.9 percent to 182,327 units from the same period a year ago, data showed.

“We expect the high sales momentum to continue until Ghost Month [the seventh month of the Lunar calendar], when consumers usually avoid buying cars,” Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) deputy spokesman Yu Shiao-chung (喻曉忠) said by telephone.

Hotai, which distributes Toyota and Lexus models, led the market by selling 10,991 cars last month, up 14.1 percent from a month ago and 4.7 percent from a year ago, for a market share of 33.7 percent.

The company maintained its 360,000 units forecast for the nation’s total car sales this year, down slightly from the 365,871 units sold last year due to weak economic momentum and slow sales from January though May, Yu said.

Nissan and Infiniti car distributor Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產) said market sentiment last month remained the same as that seen in the first five months of the year, which means that the sales increase was largely the result of vendors’ promotions and special offers.

Yulon Nissan sold 3,676 cars last month for 11.3 percent market share. The figure represents a rise of 10.3 percent from a month ago and 2.9 percent from a year ago, company data showed.

China Motor Corp (CMC, 中華汽車), the local manufacturer for Mitsubishi brand cars, saw its sales rise 4.3 percent month-on-month, but decline 23.2 percent year-on-year to 3,761 cars, accounting for 11.5 percent of the market share.

SinoPac Securities Investment Service Co (永豐投顧) analyst Clint Sun (孫新銘) said the recent recovery staged by the local bourse would increase consumer spending until the beginning of Ghost Month.

However, Sun wrote in a note yesterday that total car sales for the year would be 350,000, since the anticipated jump in sales would not be able to offset the decline seen in the first half of this year.

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