Car sales in Taiwan drop by almost half in February

Taipei--Car sales in Taiwan fell by almost 50 percent in February after the Lunar New Year shopping season, according to market statistics.

However, even with the 46.7 percent monthly drop to 24,215 units after the 7-day holiday ended on Feb. 1, the figure was 12.3 percent higher than in the same period of last year, the data showed.

Hotai Motor Co. (???), the local sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor, remained the top car vendor in Taiwan, selling 6,048 units in February, down 51.06 percent from a month earlier and 7.9 percent year-on-year, according to the statistics.

China Motor Corp. (????), which markets cars under the Mitsubishi brand, rose one spot to second with sales of 3,003 units, a monthly drop of 36.2 percent but a 29 percent increase from a year earlier, the statistics indicated.

Market analysts said the year-on-year increase reflected solid demand for China Motor's smaller cars such the Zinger, Delica and Veryca.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co. (???), which sells cars under the Nissan brand, fell one notch to third place in the February rankings, selling 2,011 units, down 63.1 percent from a month earlier and 14.82 percent year-on-year as its new models were not due to hit the market until later in the year, according to the market report.

As for imported cars, Mercedes-Benz was the bestseller in February with 1,620 units, down 43.3 percent from the previous month but up 28.3 percent from a year earlier, the data indicated.

Another German brand BMW sold 1,084 cars in Taiwan in February, and along with Mercedes-Benz took about a 10 percent share of the local market, the statistics showed.

In the first two months of the year, car sales in Taiwan totaled 69,645 units, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.

Analysts said that while car sales on the local market this year are unlikely to break the 2016 record, robust sales can be expected in the first half of last year with the release of new models.

Total car sales on the Taiwan market are forecast at between 420,000 and 430,000 units or 2017, compared with about 440,000 last year, according to Yulon Motor and Hotai Motor.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel