New car sales picked up sharply last month from February as promotion campaigns by dealers and the government’s subsidy policy paid off.
New car sales reached 37,589 units last month, indicating a 74.3 percent increase from February’s 21,561 units, according to statistics compiled by Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) data communication branch.
Both Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車) and China Motor Corp (CMC, 中華汽車), the nation’s leading car dealers, reported double-digit percentage increases from a year ago.
The increase had much to do with the government stimulus that provides NT$50,000 (US$1,544) in subsidies for new car buyers.
The stimulus, introduced on Jan. 8, requires people to scrap or export used cars and buy a new car within six months to qualify for the subsidy.
Automakers also offered their own subsidies, with some incentives valued at up to NT$130,000.
February’s poor performance was attributed to the Lunar New Year and 228 Memorial Day holidays cutting working days.
There were fewer holiday disruptions last month, allowing new car sales to surge by 20,000 in the last 10 workdays of the month.
In the first quarter of this year, automakers sold 106,627 new cars, down 0.2 percent from the same period last year.
Hotai, which distributes Toyota and Lexus models, reported a sales increase of 13.9 percent last month from a year ago to 11,350 vehicles, helped by its provision of subsidies and low installment fees.
Hotai continued to lead the market with a 30.2 percent market share last month.
China Motor, which sells Mitsubishi sedans and its own CMC commercial models, saw its sales grow 25.3 percent annually and 93.8 percent monthly to 4,512 units last month, outperforming its peers.
China Motor attributed the increase in sales of its flagship commercial model the Veryca, with sales of 1,400 units last month, to the government’s incentive program.
“The subsidy effectively pushed up our car sales,” the company said, as it kept its second-place ranking with a 12 percent market share.
Yulon Nissan Motor Co (裕隆日產), which sells Nissan and Infiniti cars, was in third place, with car sales increasing by 6.1 percent annually and 52.9 percent monthly to 3,611 units last month.
Honda Taiwan Co (台灣本田), which commands a market share of 6.7 percent, saw its sales grow 16.5 percent annually and 63.2 percent monthly to 2,536 cars last month.
Mercedes-Benz Taiwan, one of the largest luxury car distributors in the nation, reported a 12.9 percent annual increase in sales to 2,235 cars last month, 77 percent higher from February.
The company ranked fifth with a market share of 5.9 percent.
Car sales are expected to be flat this month from 34,664 units in the same period last year, as the subsidy and promotion remain in place, but fewer working days and a low sales season could weigh in.
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