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Car sales up over 10% month-on-month in January

2018/02/02 16:33:09

Taipei, Feb. 2 (CNA) Car sales in Taiwan for January rose more than 10 percent from a month earlier, with market analysts saying that with the Lunar New Year holiday approaching, strong buying has been sparked.

According to data compiled by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, car sales for January totaled 47,936 units, up 13.6 percent from a month earlier and also up 5.5 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts said the increase in sales also resulted from car manufacturers' efforts to launch new models to boost buying, while the 2018 Taipei Auto Show, which ran Dec. 30-Jan. 7 also served as a catalyst for consumer interest.

Buying in January followed an increase in sales in 2017, when car sales on the local market totaled 444,469 units, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, and although the increase was small, sales still hit a 12-year high and beat market expectations.

Hotai Motor Co., the local sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., retained the title of largest car vendor in Taiwan in January after selling 14,901 cars, up 5.7 percent from the previous year and also up 18 percent from a month earlier. Hotai took a 31.09 percent share of the local car market for the month.

The January sales for Hotai was the highest monthly level in two years, as demand for its Toyota Sienta has been on the rise.

2017 was the 16th consecutive year Hotai has been the largest vendor in Taiwan.

China Motor Corp., which markets cars under the Mitsubishi marque, came in second, selling 5,635 cars in January to take an 11.76 percent share of the local auto market.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co., which sells models under the Nissan brand, sold 4,227 units in January, accounting for 8.82 percent of the total sales, ahead of Honda Taiwan, which grasped an 8.27 percent share after selling 3,964 units in the month.

Among imported models, Mercedes Benz took the fifth-largest sales position in Taiwan as the German firm sold 3,082 units, giving it a 6.43 percent share.

Imported cars made up 33.9 percent of Taiwan's total car sales for the month. After Mercedes Benz, BMW took the second-largest imported car vendor title and also the eighth-largest brand in Taiwan, selling 1,654 units.

Analysts said buying sparked by the Taipei Auto Show is expected to continue for the rest of the first quarter. In addition, car brands are expected to unveil more new models later this year, a move expected to vault car sales past the 2017 level.

(By Tien Yu-pin and Frances Huang)
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