Taipei--Car sales in the local market soared more than 50 percent from a month earlier on the back of new models that sparked buying, according to government statistics.
Market analysts said that rising popularity of imported cars that arrived in Taiwan in February also served as a driver to the significant growth in March, helping the local car market climb out of the slow-season effects seen in the previous month.
The data shows that a total of 38,042 cars were sold in Taiwan in March, up 57.1 percent from a month earlier and up 1.2 percent from a year earlier.
The March figure even beat an earlier market expectation of 35,000 to 36,000 units sold.
In February, car sales in Taiwan fell 46.7 percent from a month earlier to 24,215 units after the six-day Lunar New Year holiday ended on Feb. 1, sending the local car market into a traditional slow season.
Hotai Motor Co. (???), the local sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor, retained the title of the largest car supplier in the country by taking a 27.8 percent market share after selling 10,562 units, up more than 50 percent from a month earlier but down 6.9 percent from a year earlier.
China Motor Corp. (????), which markets cars under the Mitsubishi brand, came in second after selling 4,564 cars in March, also up more than 50 percent from February, to grasp a 12.0 percent share in the local market, ahead of Yulon Nissan Motor Co. (???), which sells cars under the Nissan brand and took the third spot on sales of 3,414 units in the month with a 9.0 percent share.
Analysts said that China Motor benefited from strong buying in its small-sized commercial vehicles in the month, such as the Zinger, Delica and Veryca models, to help the brand to retain second place, analysts said.
The data indicates that Honda Taiwan ranked as the fourth-largest car supplier in Taiwan in March with 2,976 units sold and taking a 7.8 percent share, followed by Mercedes-Benz (6.5 percent), Ford Lio Ho Motor Co. (4.7 percent), and BMW (4.6 percent), according to the data. Volkswagen, which has left behind an emissions scandal that occurred in September 2015, made a strong comeback in the Taiwan market in March by selling 1,471 cars here, up 55.9 percent from a year earlier, to become one of the top 10 bestsellers.
In the first quarter, a total of 107,687 cars were sold in Taiwan, up 1 percent from a year earlier, with Hotai Motor retaining the position of the bestseller in Taiwan by taking a 29.1 percent share, the data shows.
Analysts said that car vendors in Taiwan are set to unveil new models in the second quarter, such as a new hybrid Prius planned by Hotai, and a Mazda CX-5 model to be imported by Mazda Taiwan.
These efforts are expected to give a boost to the local car market in the current quarter, analysts added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel