Taipei, June 21 (CNA) Hotai Motor Co., a local agent of Japan-based Toyota Motor, said Thursday it will try hard to maintain its place as the top car vendor in Taiwan although the local auto market is showing signs of weakening.
In an annual general meeting, Hotai Motor Chairman Huang Nan-kuang said he expects his company to expand its market share this year with the launch of new models, including a hybrid car,
Hotai Motor has set a goal of a 34 percent market share in Taiwan for 2012, from 31.6 percent last year, Huang said
In 2011, Hotai Motor sold 119,425 cars in Taiwan, maintaining its rank as the top car vendor in the country for the 10th consecutive year, although it suffered a component shortage as a result of a deadly earthquake in Japan and serious flooding in Thailand.
Huang said Hotai Motor is not deterred by the slowing demand in the local car market, which has been affected by weakening economic fundamentals at home and abroad. Hotai will continue its efforts to retain the No.1 car vendor title and ensure growth of its bottom line, he said.
According to Hotai Motor, auto sales in Taiwan are expected to see a 4.7 percent annual drop this year to 360,000 units.
The local car market entered an annual peak season in June and buying interest has been boosted by the introduction new models, Hotai said.
The company said it expects its June sales to show an increase of almost 1,000 units from about 11,000 units recorded in May, and it was also upbeat about the market outlook for July.
Since Hotai unveiled the Camry Hybrid, the first Taiwan-made hybrid car, in February, it has been well received in the market, the company said.
Production of that particular model is expected to reach 12,000 units for this year, it said.
Meanwhile, the shareholders meeting approved the company's proposal to issue NT$8 (US$0.26) in cash dividends for 2011. The dividend yield was 4 percent based on the stock's closing price of NT$200.00 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Thursday.
(By Chao Hsiao-hui and Frances Huang)