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Honda to invest NT$4 billion in Taiwan over five years

2019/02/26 15:38

Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Honda Taiwan Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Honda Motor Co., said Monday that it is planning to invest NT$4 billion (US$129.87 million) in Taiwan over the next five years.

At a news conference, Honda Taiwan President Takato Ito said the investment will be put into upgrading production at the company's plant in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, which makes automobiles and motorcycles for the local market.

Ito said the funds will go toward sophisticated production equipment and advanced production technology to increase efficiency and introduce new vehicle models in the Taiwan market.

It will be biggest investment in the country by Honda Taiwan since it was established in 2002.

The company is also planning to increase its showrooms in Taiwan from 55 to 60 by the end of the year, Ito said.

In 2018, Honda Taiwan reported a 14 percent annual increase in auto sales to 38,668 units, driven by its popular recreational vehicle models such as the CR-V and HR-V, while its motorcycle sales totaled 2,603.

Despite the plans to invest NT$4 billion in Taiwan over the next five years, however, Ito expressed caution about the entire car market in Taiwan this year, forecasting a 3.45 percent annual drop to about 420,000 units amid an economic slowdown.

He said Honda Taiwan car sales for 2019 are likely to fall to 37,000 units, but its motorcycle sales are expected to increase to 3,300 units.

According to market sources, Honda Taiwan will launch an upgraded version of its HR-V and other models in the second quarter of the year in bid to improve its competitiveness in the local market.

In January, Honda Taiwan sold 3,525 cars, taking about an 8 percent share of the local market.

(By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)Enditem/pc