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Sat, Feb 03, 2001 - Page 18 News List

Imported auto prices to rise

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Imports of luxury cars have not been affected by the island's economic slowdown, according to sales statistics for January compiled by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Although Taiwan is experiencing economic hardships due to businesses transferring operations overseas, a depreciating currency and a high unemployment rate, statistics show that demands for imported cars have been relatively unaffected.

Mercedes-Benz sold 1,468 new cars in Taiwan in January, topping the list of foreign car sales for the month with a 18.3 percent share of the total car market and a sales rate increase of 145.9 percent.

Following Mercedes-Benz, 1,117 new Toyota's were sold for a 14.4 percent share of Taiwan's total car market last month, representing a sales rate increase of 122.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Mazda and Ford sold 898 and 584 new cars last month, respectively.

Among imported luxury cars, BMW was the only one to experience a decrease in sales, dropping 34.5 percent from December of last year. In January, 492 new BMW cars were sold, statistics showed.

Meanwhile, several local sales agents of imported cars have announced price hikes on new cars that took effect Wednesday.

Local sales agents of auto brands such as Kia, Volkswagon, Jaguar, and Mazda recently announced upward adjustments in their sales prices of new cars, ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$100,000 per car, saying that local currency depreciation of about 7 percent against the greenback last year has created some cost pressure for them, in addition to the rising prices for new cars demanded by their foreign auto suppliers.

According to Swire Group, which imports South Korean brand Kia models into Taiwan, various Kia recreational vehicles will have an average of a 5.76 percent price hike.

Revving up auto prices

* Swire group, which imports Korean brand Kia and others into Taiwan, said that Kia recreational vehicles will experience an average 5.76 percent price increase

* Swire will raise the prices for various VW models, including Lupo, Polo, Golf, Bora, and the new Beetle, from NT$30,000 to NT$60,000 per car. The price of Volkswagon's Passat will jump by NT$80,000

* Jaguar Cars Taiwan says that prices of its S-Type and XJ8 models will be increased by around NT$100,000 per car, while that of the Sovereign model will up by NT$40,000

* Mazda Corp Taiwan will increase the price of its MPV recreational vehicle by NT$30,000 and the MX-5 sports model NT$40,000 per vehicle


In addition, Swire will also raise the prices for various VW models -- including Lupo, Polo, Golf, Bora, and the new Beetle -- from NT$30,000 to NT$60,000 per car. The price of a remodeled Passat will jump by NT$80,000 per car, the company added.

Jaguar Cars Taiwan has also hiked the sales prices of its models by 3 percent.

A local agent of this British brand said the two models S-Type and XJ8 will be increased by around NT$100,000 per car, while that of the Sovereign model will up by NT$40,000 per car.

Mazda Corp Taiwan, likewise has decided to raise the sales price of its MPV by NT$30,000 and that of the remodeled MX-5 sports car by NT$40,000 per car.

Capital Motors (中華賓士), the local agent for Mercedes Benz, has decided against hiking prices for the time being.

However, the company said it has not ruled out doing so. This sentiment was also echoed by agents for BMW and Volvo.

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