Car sales rebound in March, soar over 40% month-on-month

Taipei, The automobile market in Taiwan staged a rebound in March, with sales volume up more than 40 percent from a month earlier on the back of an increase in the number of business days in the month over the previous month, according to market statistics released Monday.

The data shows that sales for March rose to about 39,000 units, up about 45 percent from February, when the six-day Lunar New Year holiday occurred. The March figure was also up 2.8 percent from a year earlier.

In February, car sales in Taiwan fell to 26,965 units, down by almost half from January's 47,936 units.

But with business returning to normal after the Lunar New Year holiday, the local car market witnessed significant sales growth, market analysts said, adding that strong demand for SUVs served as a driver to the sales rebound.

The data shows that Hotai Motor Co., the local sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., retained the title of largest car vendor in Taiwan in March, selling 10,202 units and accounting for 26.1 percent of the total sales, the statistics show.

Hotai, which also markets the Lexus marque for Toyota, saw 1,146 units of the Lexus NX model sold in March. Along with the RX model, Lexus accounted for more than 40 percent of Taiwan's luxury SUV market, the data shows.

Hotai said Lexus is expected to unveil its next SUV model -- the UX -- later this year, which should further boost the brand's sales in Taiwan.

China Motor Corp., which markets cars under the Mitsubishi marque, came in second, after selling 4,683 units, accounting for up to 12 percent of the total sales, ahead of Honda Taiwan, which took a 9.75 percent share of the market with 3,812 units.

The data shows that Honda benefited from strong demand for its SUVs in March, so its sales volume rose 57 percent from a month earlier and also grew 28.4 percent from a year earlier.

In the first quarter of this year, Hotai sold 32,005 cars in Taiwan, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier and taking a 28.1 percent share of the local car market to remain the top seller.

China Motor came in second with 13,465 units sold in the three- month period to account for 11.8 percent of the local market, followed by Honda Taiwan, which took a 9 percent share after selling 10,216 cars, the data shows.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel