Sat, Feb 03, 2018 - Page 11 News List

New car sales spike due to holiday trade: analysts

JANUARY PURCHASES:Car sales rose 5.5 percent from a year earlier and Hotai retains the largest car vendor title after taking a 31.09 percent market share

Staff writer, with CNA

New car sales in Taiwan last month rose 13.6 percent from a month earlier, with analysts saying that strong buying has been sparked by the approaching Lunar New Year holiday.

According to data compiled by local motor vehicle branches, car sales totaled 47,936 units, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts said the increase was also due to car vendors’ efforts to launch new models to boost sales, while the Taipei Auto Show, which ran from Dec. 30 last year to Jan. 7, was a catalyst as well.

Last year, new car sales totaled 444,469 units, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, and although the increase was small, sales still hit a 12-year high and beat market expectations.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the local sales agent for Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp, retained the title of largest car vendor after selling 14,901 cars, up 5.7 percent from the previous year and up 18 percent from a month earlier.

Last month’s sales hit Hotai’s highest monthly level in two years — as demand for its Toyota Sienta minivan has been on the rise — and meant the company took a 31.09 percent market share for the month.

Last year was the 16th consecutive year that Hotai has been the largest vendor in Taiwan.

China Motor Corp (中華汽車), which markets Mitsubishi Motors Corp cars, came in second, selling 5,635 cars to take an 11.76 percent share of the local auto market.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), which sells Nissan Motor Co Ltd cars, sold 4,227 units, accounting for 8.82 percent of total sales, ahead of Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田), which took an 8.27 percent share after selling 3,964 units in the month.

As for imported cars, Mercedes-Benz Taiwan Ltd (台灣賓士) took the fifth-largest sales position in the local market after selling 3,082 units for a 6.43 percent market share.

Imported models made up 33.9 percent of Taiwan’s total car sales for the month. After Mercedes-Benz, BMW AG took the second-largest imported car vendor title and was the eighth-largest brand in Taiwan, selling 1,654 units.

Analysts said buying sparked by the Taipei Auto Show is expected to continue for the rest of the first quarter.

In addition, car brands are expected to unveil more new models later this year, a move predicted to vault car sales past last year’s level.

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