Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus models, yesterday raised its sales target for Lexus models this year to 10,500 units from 10,000 units following significant growth in the premium car market in Taiwan.
“The market share of premium cars almost doubled this year from 7 percent to 8 percent four to five years ago,” Hotai president Justin Su (蘇純興) said.
Sales of luxury cars rose 10.2 percent year-on-year to 43,235 units during the first 10 months this year, with Hotai trailing behind Mercedes-Benz Taiwan and BMW Taiwan as the third-largest premium car distributor with a 19.9 percent market share. The company distributed 8,603 Lexus models in the period, up 7.1 percent from a year ago.
Cars priced below NT$2 million (US$68,000) accounted for 50 percent of Lexus models sold this year, slightly higher than last year because Hotai upgraded its Lexus ES and IS series cars earlier this year, and the LS and GS models more recently, the company said.
Hotai yesterday launched its Lexus GS 300h hybrid sedan, priced between NT$2.09 million and NT$2.49 million. The company aims to sell 1,000 units of the new model, which is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine aided by an electric motor to produce 217 horsepower with a maximum torque of 22.5 kilogram-meter.
The company said it had received orders for 50 Lexus GS 300h as of yesterday, adding that it plans to sell 200 more before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Su said overall car sales in Taiwan this year will rise above 370,000 units after positive customer responses to new cars launched by Hotai and Yulon Nissan Co (裕隆日產) last month. Total car sales rose 0.7 percent year-on-year to 304,749 cars from January through last month, data showed.
“We are surprised about the sales numbers in recent months,” Su said, adding that he is confident of reaching a sales target of 12,500 new Altis sedans this year.
Hotai received 6,000 Altis orders last month and aims to sell 4,000 more units this month, he said.