Fri, Oct 03, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Automobile sales rose last month

SUPER SEPTEMBER:Sales were almost 50 percent higher than in August, which had been hurt by the unwillingness of many consumers to buy cars during Ghost Month

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

The local automobile industry, led by Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), saw vehicle sales surge last month, suggesting the economy is picking up steam and that consumers are more willing to buy big-ticket items such as cars.

Last month’s sales strength came as Hotai, China Motor Corp (CMC, 中華汽車) and Mercedes-Benz Taiwan Ltd (台灣賓士) showed double-digit percentage sales gains year-on-year.

It also reflects renewed buyer interest after the end of Ghost Month, which cast its shadow over the market from July 27 to Aug. 24.

Overall, new car sales rose 20.1 percent last month from a year earlier to 34,746 units, according to the latest data compiled by Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) data communication branch.

The figure increased 49.9 percent from August.

During the first nine months of the year, automakers sold 313,756 cars, up 15.1 percent from the same period last year, the data showed.

Hotai, which distributes Toyota and Lexus models, reported its sales rose 34.4 percent last month from a year ago to 11,475 vehicles, also increasing 92.7 percent from August, helped by the rollout of a new Yaris subcompact car.

Eyeing the upcoming peak season this month and next, Hotai yesterday began a special promotion of its popular mid-sized Camry, with a new audio and video system as well as other advanced accessories, and a price tag of NT$876,000.

The company led the market with a 33 percent share last month, data showed.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), which sells Nissan and Infiniti cars, saw sales rise by 5 percent annually and 75.8 percent monthly last month to 3,670 vehicles, while sales at CMC, which distributes Mitsubishi sedans and its own CMC commercial vehicles, increased 19.6 percent year-on-year and 53.6 percent month-on-month to 3,577 vehicles last month.

Both Yulon Nissan and China Motor kept their second-place and third-place rankings, with market shares of 10.6 percent and 10.3 percent respectively, data showed.

Mercedes-Benz Taiwan, the largest luxury car distributor in the nation, also weighed in with a 22.8 percent annual increase in sales last month to 1,784 cars, 28.3 percent higher than in August.

The European luxury brand retained its fifth-largest ranking in market last month, owing to the steady sales in its C and E-class vehicles, with a 5.1 percent market share, data showed.

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和), the local subsidiary of the US-based Ford Motor Co, and Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田) saw last month’s sales drop from a year earlier, but rise from August to 1,922 and 1,598 vehicles respectively to secure the fourth and sixth place.

Emboldened by the ongoing economic rebound and the aggressive sales incentives offered by dealers, many consumers are now giving up their old cars to buy new ones, suggesting the overall market could score another robust month this month.

If car sales start off strong in the final quarter of the year, major dealers have predicted the car market could see sales reach 410,000 units this year.

The most units ever sold in one year was in 2005 — 514,627 units.

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