New vehicle sales take a 39.5% hit in Ghost Month

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Sep 10, 2018 - Page 16

New car sales last month declined 39.5 percent from July and 28.8 percent from a year earlier to 26,035 units, as Ghost Month, which started on Aug. 11 and ended yesterday, affected buying during the period.

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), China Motor Corp (中華汽車), Mazda Motor Taiwan Co Ltd (台灣馬自達), Mercedes-Benz Taiwan Ltd (台灣賓士), Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產) and Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田) all saw sales drop significantly last month by 30.3 percent to 59.8 percent from the previous month, according to auto information Web site U-Car, which cited data compiled by the Directorate-General of Highways’ (DGH) local motor vehicle offices.

Mazda Taiwan stood out among its peers as the only car vendor to register positive vehicle sales last month from a year earlier, with deliveries rising 19.1 percent to 1,866 units, making it the third-largest in terms of sales in the domestic market, U-Car said on Monday last week.

Overall vehicle sales in the first eight months of the year fell 1.3 percent year-on-year to 291,285 units, with the big winners during the period being Honda Taiwan (up 22.1 percent), Mazda Taiwan (up 12.7 percent) and Mercedes-Benz (up 5 percent), DGH data showed.

On the other end of the spectrum were Yulon Nissan (down 22 percent), Hotai Motor (down 5.7 percent) and China Motor (down 0.9 percent).

Meanwhile, overall market share of imported brands hit 44.1 percent in the first eight months, edging up from 43.6 percent in the first seven months, the data showed.

The total number of vehicle sales for this year is forecast to stay flat at 440,000 units, despite stable economic growth and a five-year tax subsidy program on new car purchases, Capital Investment Management Corp (群益投顧) said last week.

Beginning in January 2016, a tax deduction of NT$50,000 per car has been made available for those who trade in their old cars of six years old or more for new ones.

“The tax break policy is more appealing to people who trade in old cars to purchase new Taiwanese-made vehicles. This policy is estimated to generate replacement demand for 100,000 to 200,000 cars, which is forecast to be realized in four to five years,” Capital Investment analyst David Lai (賴季宏) said in a note.

“However, as Taiwan’s auto market is nearly saturated, this policy is unlikely to further boost the sales of new cars,” Lai said. “We expect overall sales of new cars to stay flat this year.”