Car sales in Taiwan rise more than 3 percent in May

Taipei, Car sales in Taiwan increased more than 3 percent in May from the previous month, according to government statistics, but market analysts said the growth was limited because it was tax season.

Data from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) showed 35,686 cars were sold in the month of May, an increase of 3.6 percent from April and 1 percent from a year earlier.

It was a strong recovery from April, when car sales fell by a monthly 12.2 percent in the wake of 15 percent decline in imported cars on the local market.

Analysts said the 3.6 percent monthly increase in May was capped by slow buying interest as it was tax paying month in Taiwan.

Hotai Motor Co., the local sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., remained the biggest car vendor in Taiwan in May, with sales of 9,492 units, the MOTC data showed.

However, Hotai Motor recorded a 6.5 percent monthly decline and an 8.5 percent year-on-year drop in sales as demand weakened for its flagship passenger car models such as Altis, Vios and Yaris, analysts said.

Meanwhile, Honda Taiwan registered the highest growth among the vendors in Taiwan, with a 42.2 percent monthly increase to 3,658 units in May, which represented a 24 percent year-on-year hike, the data showed.

According to Honda Taiwan, the significant growth resulted from strong sales of its latest sports utility vehicle model the CR-V, which was sold 2,164 units in May.

Meanwhile, imported luxury cars accounted for 44.5 percent of the total car sales in Taiwan in May, with SUVs making up about 20 percent, the data showed.

Hotai Motor, which sells imported Lexus models in Taiwan, said the Lexus SUV -- the RX -- was the most popular imported SUV model in May.

In the first five months of the year, car sales in Taiwan totaled 184,305 units, up 4 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Analysts have forecast that car sales in the second half of the year might be affected by factors such as the local government elections in November and a possible increase in international crude oil prices.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel