Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus models in Taiwan, launched a new Lexus LS model on Thursday, with its price 12.82 percent lower than other cars in the same series.
The company said the new car does not include certain high-end equipment and accessories, allowing it to lower the price to NT$3.67 million (US$123,569) from NT$4.21 million for other cars in the LS series. The new car will only be available in Taiwan, Hotai said.
“It was not because the cars did not sell well that we lowered the price,” Hotai deputy spokesman Yu Shiao-chung (喻曉忠) said by telephone yesterday. “Instead, we discovered that some customers, such as hotels, do not require certain high-end equipment and accessories in such luxury cars because they only use the cars once in a while to pick up customers from airports.”
The LS series of cars are the most expensive Lexus models, with other series priced below NT$3 million, Yu said.
From Jan. 1 through last month, Hotai sold 229 Lexus LS cars, accounting for 3.43 percent of the 6,686 Lexus cars sold during the period, the company said.
From Jan. 1 through Tuesday, Hotai, the third-largest car importer in local luxury car market, sold 6,951 Lexus cars, accounting for 20.1 percent of the luxury car market, according to government data.
Yu said the 10 percent luxury tax imposed on cars costing more than NT$3 million had affected the market, but the popularity of small luxury cars is still rising.
Asked whether the price cut would lead to a larger market share for Hotai, David Chen (陳百鈞), senior manager of Audi Taiwan Co Ltd (台灣奧迪), the fifth-largest luxury car distributor, said he considered it a common move.
“Like Hotai, we price our Audi A8 cars between NT$4.8 million and NT$9.1 million to appeal to a range of customers,” Chen said.
Audi sold 2,397 cars from January through Tuesday, accounting for 6.9 percent of the local luxury car market, according to government data.