Car sales up over 5% month-on-month in January

Taipei, Car sales in Taiwan in January rose more than 5 percent from a month earlier on buying interest ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in February, according to data compiled by transportation authorities.

A total of 44,143 cars were sold in January, up 5.1 percent from a month earlier but down 7.9 percent year-on-year, the figures showed.

Consumers in Taiwan traditionally tend to buy big ticket items such as cars and homes just before a new year on the lunar calendar begins, which helped not only boost sales in January but also contributed to 16 percent month-on-month sales growth in December.

In January, Hotai Motor Co., the local sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., remained the top car vendor in Taiwan, selling 14,622 cars, up about 20 percent from a month earlier.

Analysts said the increase was spurred by the launch of an upgraded Yaris Crossover model.

A total of 2,283 units of the new model were sold during the month, up more than 70 percent from sales of the old Yaris model in January 2018.

The company also sold 2,155 Corolla Altis cars and 1,922 RAV4s, helping Hotai Motor grab a leading 33.12 percent share of the local car market, analysts said.

China Motor Corp., which markets cars under the Mitsubishi brand, sold 5,435 cars in January, up 41.6 percent from a month earlier, for a 12.3 percent market share, the second highest in Taiwan.

Analysts said China Motor benefited from strong sales of its commercial car models, such as the Zinger and Delica, with sales of each of the two models topping 800 units in January.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co., which sells models under the Nissan brand, came in third after selling 3,970 units, ahead of Honda Taiwan (3,525 units) and Germany's Mercedes Benz (3,290 units), the data showed.

According to the figures, consumers remained interested in imported vehicles, of which 20,108 were sold, up 2.3 percent from a month earlier and also up 5.9 percent from a year earlier.

Among the top five imported models in January were Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW and Volkswagen, the data showed.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council