Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the nation’s largest automobile retailer and the country’s Toyota dealer, forecast yesterday that 370,000 cars could be sold in Taiwan this year and that the company’s local market share could surpass 34 percent.
“We are cautiously optimistic and expect a better [domestic] automobile market [this year],” Hotai Motor president Justin Su (蘇純興) said at a press briefing.
Although economic uncertainties continue to linger at home and abroad, the nation’s automobile market is likely to expand amid an improving domestic economy, he added.
The company expects to sell 125,800 cars in Taiwan this year — 115,800 under the Toyota brand and 10,000 under the Lexus brand — which translates to a 34 percent market share.
In addition, the company will also continue its “green concept” in line with the global trend, promoting electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles.
Sales of the company’s hybrid cars reached 17,320 units in Taiwan last year, 3.5 times the 4,879 units sold in 2011, according to the company.
In light of the continued depreciation of the Japanese yen, the company will not go through with a 1 percent price increase that was scheduled to take effect on March 1 this year, Su added.
The Japanese yen hit a 33-month low of ￥94.46 against the greenback on Feb. 11.
Yesterday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said a yen level of about 100 yen to the US dollar would benefit Japanese exporters and he called for a higher inflation target.