Honda Taiwan predicts flat car sales nationwide

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 05, 2014 - Page 14

Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田), the nation’s fourth-largest car distributor last year, yesterday said it expects Taiwanese car sales to be flat, at 378,456 units, matching last year, because Taiwan’s economy shows few signs of improvement.

Last year, the nation’s car sales rose 3 percent from the previous year, thanks to new car launches in the fourth quarter.

“We are more cautious about the nation’s economy this year in view of minor positive changes in recent economic indicators,” Honda Taiwan spokesman Chen Chun-liang (陳俊亮) said by telephone.

According to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the nation’s GDP is expected to grow 2.82 percent this year, up from 2.11 percent in 2012.

Despite a less upbeat forecast for the local market, Honda Taiwan still expects its sales to grow 5 percent to 27,000 units this year from 25,588 units last year, amid plans to launch three mid-sized sedans later this year, Chen said.

However, the forecast is much smaller than the 37 percent increase in sales to 25,588 units last year from 2012, when production was hit by a shortage of car parts after flooding in Thailand.

The latest industry data showed the sales for last month declined 50.1 percent month-on-month but climbed 13.4 percent year-on-year to 1,230 units, with a market share of 5.9 percent. In the first two months of this year, Honda Taiwan sold 3,694 cars.