Thu, Nov 21, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Ford expects local market to grow by 5 percent next year

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和) yesterday said it expects the local car market to grow between 5 percent and 6 percent next year from this year as consumer confidence improves.

“With more and more new products introduced in Taiwan, we believe next year will be a very good year,” marketing and sales director Anderson Liu (劉繼升) said.

Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券) is more cautious about the market for next year, forecasting auto sales would grow 2.7 percent from this year. The brokerage predicted car sales would rise 1.1 percent this year from 365,871 units last year, according to a report issued yesterday.

Liu said the SUV segment would grow the fastest, as SUVs offer more safety features for passengers and a higher sitting position for drivers.

The segment accounts for 15 percent of the total car market, up from between 12 percent and 13 percent of the market three years ago, he said after the launch ceremony of Ford’s 1.5-liter EcoSport SUV.

Ford Lio Ho, the fifth-largest car distributor in the nation, acquired 6.4 percent of the market by selling 19,804 cars from January through Nov. 10, up 32.8 percent from a year ago, industry data showed. Taiwan’s auto sales increased 0.7 percent year-on-year to 309,191 units from January through Nov. 10, the data showed.

Liu said the company aims to become one of the nation’s top three automakers within three years by introducing new models and upgrading its customer services.

“We are still experiencing a shortage of our main car components, which need to be imported, otherwise our sales would have been higher,” Ford Lio Ho manager Shawn Huang (黃南瑄) said.

Commenting on Mazda Motor Corp’s move to end its cooperation with Ford Distribution Taiwan (品爵汽車), which distributes Mazda cars in Taiwan in the coming year, Huang said that although Mazda plans to set up a new subsidiary in Taiwan, Ford Lio Ho is still likely to be responsible for manufacturing Mazda cars domestically.

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