Yulon Group's efforts to establish its brand name in the Chinese auto market have gradually paid off, according to local media reports.
Kenneth Yen, CEO of Yulon Group, was cited as having said recently that the group's auto sales, revenues and profits from China exceeded those from Taiwan for the first time in the January-March quarter this year.
Dongfeng Yulon Motor Co., a joint venture founded by Yulon and Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Corp. to produce Yulon-developed autos in China, has increased the number of its sales footholds from 30 last year to 90 so far this year and will expand the figure to 200 by the end of the year, Yen said.
Dongfeng Yulon began to sell Yulon-developed Luxgen cars in China last year and sales volume is expected to reach 45,000 units this year, Yen said, adding that the venture will also begin to turn a profit this year.
In the past couple of years, Yen said, Yulon has also export Luxgen sedans to Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Marshall Islands and several Middle East countries as part of its global branding efforts.
Yulon, Taiwan's largest automaker, is now seeking cooperation partners in Russia and expects to start auto sales there next year, Yen said.
The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of Yulon Group's global branding and business expansion plan:
Economic Daily News:
Yen said in a recent interview with this paper that the recent global economic slowdown has affected Taiwan's auto sales.
Early this year, Yen said he forecast the annual domestic car sales at 400,000 units.
"But I have become less confident of the market prospects," Yen said, adding that he has reduced his forecast to about 360,000 units, down 10,000 units from last year's volume.
Fortunately, Yen said, Yulon has established footholds in China and Taiwan is only part of its markets.
Yulon Nissan Motor Co., a joint venture between Yulon and Japan's Nissan Motor Co., scored only a quarter of its Q1 profits from Taiwan and three-fourths of the quarterly earnings came from China, Yen said.
He said Dongfeng Yulon in China has added a new model -- the Luxgen CEO executive multi-purpose van (MPV) -- in the Chinese market.
"We need to develop more innovations and new technologies to win Chinese consumers' attention amid ever increasing competition," Yen said.
Yulon Group's annual sales could surge to NT$350 billion this year, marking a 25 percent growth from the 2011 record, with earnings forecast at NT$20 billion.
As President Ma Ying-jeou was just sworn in for a second term in office, Yen said he hopes the government will resolve public grievances over electricity and fuel prices hikes and should take a second thought on introduction of capital gains tax at this moment of global economic uncertainty (May 21, 2012).
United Evening News:
Yulon Group shares rallied Monday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange amid optimistic reports about the group's business prospects.
The group also led other auto industry stocks to stage a rebound in morning trade. (May 21, 2012).
(By Sofia Wu)