Taiwan's auto production value falls over 8% in first half of 2020
Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) The production value of the local auto industry fell more than 8 percent from a year earlier in the first half of this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday, citing the impact of COVID-19.
Data compiled by the MOEA showed the output of the local auto industry totaled NT$75.9 billion (US$2.58 billion) in the January-June period, down 8.5 percent from a year earlier, with total production of 113,000 cars, which was also down 8.4 percent from a year earlier.
The MOEA said the COVID-19 pandemic affected global demand so orders from the Middle East, the major buyer of Taiwan-made cars in 2019, fell in the first half of 2020.
As for auto parts makers, production value fell 17.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$76.6 billion in the first six months of this year, the MOEA said, adding that the fall largely came after orders from American and European buyers shrank sharply.
Exports of Taiwan-made auto parts for the six month period dropped 17.4 percent with sales bound for the three largest markets -- the United States, Japan and China -- down 11.0 percent, 23.6 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively.
However, the local auto industry stopped a four year falling streak in production value in 2019 as its exports rose more than 43 percent from a year earlier to offset a decline of 2.3 percent in domestic sales.
Exports account for only about 10 percent of the total sales of Taiwan's auto industry.
In 2019, the production value of Taiwan's car industry rose 0.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$167.4 billion after a year-on-year decline of 8.8 percent in 2018, 4.1 percent in 2017, 8.3 percent in 2016 and 6.0 percent in 2015.
Taiwan's car exports in 2019 benefited from an increase in orders placed by the Middle East market which favored a certain passenger car brand, the MOEA said, but declined to identify the brand.
The MOEA said Taiwan rolled out 255,000 cars in 2019, down 0.3 percent from a year earlier. According to the ministry, passenger cars made up more than 60 percent of production.
In 2019, the production value generated by Taiwanese auto part makers fell 3.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$186.1 billion as domestic car sales fell and international car brands adjusted their inventories.
According to the MOEA, Taiwan-made auto parts makers largely depend on exports with the U.S. the largest buyer, accounting for 48.7 percent of total outbound sales in 2019, ahead of Japan (6.3 percent) and China (3.2 percent).
Meanwhile, car sales in the local market for the first eight months of this year rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 289,000 units, with sales of imported cars accounting for 145,000 units, the MOEA said.
Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications calculates a sale at the time a car is delivered and given a license plate, rather than when the sales contract is signed.
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