Tue, Feb 26, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Honda Taiwan to invest NT$4bn in Pingtung plant

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

A 2019 Honda CR-V drives up the coast in an undated photograph.

Photo: AP

Automaker Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田) yesterday said it plans to invest NT$4 billion (US$129.9 million) over five years to add new manufacturing equipment to its plant in Pingtung for the production of new models.

The investment is part of the company’s efforts to boost vehicle sales through expanding its showrooms and enhancing maintenance services.

The plant, which had an initial investment of NT$2.1 billion, started producing Honda vehicles in 2002.

“We are activating [a new] investment plan in 2019, with the aim to deepen our presence in the Taiwanese market,” Honda Taiwan chairman Takato Ito told an annual media gathering.

Honda Taiwan, which plans to unveil a revamped Honda HR-V model next quarter, said its vehicle sales increased 14 percent year-on-year to 38,822 units last year, a second year of growth.

The company seized a 8.8 percent share of local market last year on the back of strong sales of recreational models such as the CR-V and HR-V.

Vehicle sales this year are forecast to drop 4.7 percent to 37,000 units, given weakening economic growth and conservative private consumption, Ito said.

Overall, the market is likely to see sales fall about 3.5 percent to 420,000 units this year from 435,135 units last year, he said.

“It is a year full of uncertainty,” Ito said.

Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) in November last year lowered its vehicle sales forecast for this year to 425,000 units as consumers are cautious about purchasing new vehicles amid economic uncertainty and US-China trade tensions.

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