Q2 auto industry output forecast to increase 6.3%

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, May 21, 2013 - Page 14

The production value of the nation’s auto industry is expected to rebound in the second quarter, driven by the launch of new models and more promotional campaigns, the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center (IEK) said in a report on Friday.

The output of the local auto sector is likely to total NT$47.09 billion (US$1.57 billion) in the second quarter, up 6.3 percent from the previous three months, the center forecast.

The sector is expected to benefit from the launch of new vehicle models and extended promotions announced by automakers in the first quarter, which will boost consumer interest, the government-funded institute said.

In the January to March period, the output of the auto industry declined 8.7 percent from a quarter earlier to NT$44.3 billion because of a reduced number of working days and delayed buying due to concerns over a falling yen, the research center said.

Some local sales agents for Japanese automakers have canceled their plans to raise prices in reflection of the yen’s decline, while some vendors have cut prices by between 3 percent and 6 percent since the beginning of March, according to the institute.

For the whole of this year, the production value of the local auto industry is expected to total NT$189.27 billion, up 1.6 percent from last year, the IEK said, lowering its forecast from the 1.7 percent growth it estimated in February.

In the auto parts sector, output for this year is likely to grow by an annual 6.5 percent to NT$209.29 billion, in reflection of recovering demand in the US, Japan and Europe, the research center said.

Sales of new cars totaled 28,844 units last month, up 5 percent from March and 0.8 percent from a year earlier, according to government statistics.

In the first four months of this year, auto sales declined 4.2 percent year-on-year to 119,131 units due to weak buying, the data showed.