Shareholders in automaker Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) yesterday approved the company’s plan to appropriate NT$3.15 billion (US$104.96 million) from its accumulated earnings of NT$6.07 billion for a land development project at its abandoned factory in New Taipei City’s Xindian District (新店).
“Yulon submitted the application for the construction permit of the project to the New Taipei City government in January and we expect the permit to be approved by the end of next year,” chairman Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰) told shareholders yesterday.
The company intends to transform the factory site into a residential and commercial complex, Yulon president Yao Chen-hsiang (姚振祥) said.
The company also told shareholders that it aims to spend 24.5 million pesos (US$560,000) to acquire the remaining 13.4 percent of Nissan Motor Philippines Inc shares, making the Philippine company a wholly owned unit.
Nissan Motor Philippines has an annual production capacity of 36,000 vehicles, Yulon said.
Yen said the company intends to use the Philippine market as a springboard to help wholly owned subsidiary Luxgen Motor Co (納智捷汽車) enter other markets in the ASEAN trade bloc.
Since Yulon launched its Luxgen brand five years ago, Luxgen Motor has worked to increase market share of its vehicles at home and abroad and has already expanded into several markets, including China and Russia.
Shareholders also backed the company’s intention to distribute a cash dividend of NT$0.7 per share, based on the company’s earnings per share (EPS) of NT$1.62 last year, compared with NT$2.03 in EPS recorded in 2012.
The company said it expects to achieve its goal of selling 45,000 Luxgen cars in China this year, generating sales of 7.25 billion yuan (US$1.16 billion).
The target is 37.2 percent higher than 32,800 units it sold a year earlier, Yulon said.
Dongfeng Yulon Motor Co (東風裕隆), a joint venture of Yulon and China-based Dongfeng Motor Corp (東風汽車), launched the Luxgen U6 SUV last month, sparking orders for 8,000 units by yesterday, Yao said.
The company said it is confident it can sell 15,000 Luxgen cars locally this year, doubling the 7,500 sold a year earlier, Yao said.
From January through Tuesday last week, Luxgen Motor sold 8,511 Luxgen cars, up 2.3 times from the previous year, the latest industrial data showed.
The company holds 4.8 percent of the market, the data showed.
Yao said the company will halt its plan to expand its factory in Sanyi Township (三義), Miaoli County, as its current capacity of 120,000 cars a year is sufficient.
Yao said the total automobile market this year is likely to grow to between 400,000 and 420,000 units on the back of new vehicle launches, up from 378,000 units recorded last year.
Local car sales increased 14.1 percent to 176,133 units from January through Tuesday last week, industry data showed.
Additional reporting by CNA