Fri, May 23, 2014 - Page 13 News List

China Motor expects growth in sales on commercial demand

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

A Mitsubishi Lancer iO is displayed at its launch in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Yang Ya-min, Taipei Times

China Motor Co (CMC, 中華汽車), the nation’s third-largest car distributor, yesterday said that it aims to post a 7 percent sales increase this year on the back of rising sales for commercial vehicles.

The company aims to sell 45,000 vehicles this year, up from 42,060 last year, China Motor president Liu Hsin-tai (劉興臺) said.

Among the 45,000 cars, 24,500 are expected to be commercial vehicles, up 10 percent from a year ago, which China Motor vice president Chien Ching-wu (錢經武) said would be because of less competition from Ford Motor Co.

Specifically, the commercial vehicles the company plans to sell are about 18,000 under 3.49 tonnes, about 6,000 vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and about 1,000 larger than 8 tonnes.

China Motor also distributes Mitsubishi sedans, in addition to its own-branded CMC commercial vehicles.

China Motor yesterday launched the new Mitsubishi Lancer iO and Lancer Fortis sedans, which are expected to be more efficient than their predecessors and are set to enter the market next month.

The company expects Lancer sales to reach between 600 units and 1,000 units next month, and reach a total of 3,500 cars this year, Chien said.

Priced between NT$699,000 (US$23,200) and NT$809,000, the new Lancer iO targets single men aged 25 to 34, Chien said.

“Because of severe competition on the market this year, we lowered the prices of the Lancer iO-series by NT$10,000 for each model compared with its previous version,” he said.

As for the Fortis, the prices are set at between NT$645,000 and NT$769,000 to acquire a larger market share, Chien said. The Lancer Fortis targets married men aged from 30 to 44, he added.

Chien expects sales of the Mitsubishi Colt Plus subcompact cars, which launched on Sept. 25 last year, would be 750 units a month, about one-and-a-half times the Lancer sedan sales.

By the end of this year, the company is to launch a new model of Mitsubishi’s Outlander SUV, he added.

The company’s exports to the Middle East are to surpass the 3,266 units shipped out last year, Liu said.

The company started selling the Lancer Fortis in the Middle East last year, and it is to negotiate with Mitsubishi Motors Corp to also export the Lancer iO, Liu said.

From January through Tuesday, China Motor sold 16,325 cars, up 1.6 percent from a year ago, according to the latest industrial data.

Trailing Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) and Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), the company is the third-largest car distributor so far this year with a market share of 10.9 percent, the data said.

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