Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) said that vehicle sales have been slightly lower than expected this year as the US-China trade dispute lingers, but it expects the release of its Luxgen URX sport utility vehicle (SUV) and other new vehicles to boost sales in the second half.
“Our car sales in Taiwanese and Chinese markets, including Luxgen-branded vehicles, might be slightly lower than last month’s forecast of 20,000 vehicles, as the US-China trade dispute takes a toll on the car market,” Yulon Motor president Yao Chen-hsiang (姚振祥) told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting in Taipei on Friday.
Between 400,000 and 410,000 vehicles are likely to be sold in Taiwan this year overall, less than the company’s forecast last month of 420,000 units, Yao said.
He attributed the downward projection to a slowing economy and market concerns over next year’s election.
The central bank on Thursday last week trimmed its GDP growth forecast for this year to 2.06 percent, from 2.13 percent.
New vehicle sales in China would be about 28.1 million units, flat from its previous estimate, the company said.
Revenue fell 6.97 percent to NT$35.21 billion (US$1.13 billion) in the first five months of this year, from NT$37.85 billion in the same period a year earlier.
While the compact Kicks SUV and the Luxgen S5 GT coupe contributed to sales this year, the launch of new seven-seat Luxgen URX SUVs in Taiwan and China next quarter is expected to further boost sales growth, the company said, adding that imported Altima sedans are to enter the local market this year.
As for alternatively powered vehicles, the company’s Luxgen Motor Co (納智捷) brand has since late last year been producing small U5 electric SUVs, while Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), another subsidiary, plans to introduce Leaf electric vehicles in September, the company said.
Yulon Motor said that it is developing its real-estate assets in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) and plans to start selling units in Yulon Towns (裕隆城) in the third quarter of next year.
Yulon Motor chairwoman Lilian Chen (嚴陳莉蓮) presided over the shareholders’ meeting for the first time since she took over in December last year, following the death of her husband, Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰).
Asked about her feelings about becoming chairwoman, Chen smiled and described the amount of pressure as “super.”
The company would continue to improve management efficiency, stay competitive, contribute to society and uphold shareholders’ rights, she said.
Shareholders later approved the distribution of a cash dividend of NT$0.67, suggesting a payout ratio of 48.2 percent based on last year’s earnings per share of NT$1.39.
That implied a dividend yield of 3.04 percent based on the stock’s closing price of NT$22.05 on Friday in Taipei trading.
The company’s shares have risen 22.84 percent so far this year.
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