Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Car sales rise to a 12-year high thanks to tax subsidy

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Domestic car sales rose to 444,669 units last year, the highest level in 12 years, thanks to the implementation of a five-year tax subsidy program on new car purchases, online market researcher U-Car said in a report yesterday.

That translated into a 1.1 percent increase from 439,629 units the previous year, data showed.

Car dealers attributed the increased buying interest to the government subsidy program that offers car buyers a NT$50,000 reduction on the commodity tax when they purchase a new car within six months of scrapping or exporting their used car.

The effect is expected to diminish this year as the tax incentive has been in place since January last year, dealers said.

Local car distributors reported mixed financial results for last year, reflecting a shift in consumer preferences due to a narrowing price gap between imported cars and locally made vehicles.

The recent appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar against the US dollar makes imported models more affordable for Taiwanese customers, dealers said.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), which distributes Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Taiwan, maintained its top position by selling 128,084 cars last year, down 8.18 percent from 139,495 units sold in 2016.

Hotai also saw its share in the domestic market fall from 31.7 percent to 28.8 percent last year, data showed.

China Motor Corp (中華汽車), which sells Mitsubishi sedans and its own-brand CMC commercial vehicles, reported sales of 48,248 units last year, a 3.99 percent increase from 46,398 units on an annual basis.

China Motor, the second-largest car vendor, saw its market share increase to 10.9 percent last year, compared with 10.6 percent a year earlier.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), which sells Luxgen and Nissan-branded cars in Taiwan, saw full-year sales decrease 4.68 percent annually from 44,723 units to 42,631 units last year, a 9.6 percent market share.

Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田), the fourth-biggest car supplier, reported that sales grew 24.52 percent from 27,361 cars to 34,071 cars last year, taking a 7.7 percent market share, boosted by increasing sales of its subcompact crossover SUV.

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