Data from Taiwan's Department of Industrial Technology shows that the automobile industry's first quarter output value dropped 30% from the same period of last year to $NT65.87bn ($US1.97bn), with both the vehicle industry and the parts and components industry showing declines.

According to Asia Pulse, a spokesman for the department's Industry and Technology Intelligence Services quoted the statistics as showing that the vehicle industry had an output value of $NT31.06 bn in the first quarter, a fall of 39.3% year-on-year.

According to the spokesman, small and medium economy cars are gradually becoming the market's mainstream products, with some 72.1% of the vehicle industry's output value coming from small family cars and only 12.1% from large family cars.

The output value of the parts and components industry in the same quarter was NT$34.8 billion, representing a smaller slide of 15.7% compared with the vehicle industry, thanks to support from its export market in America, China, Japan and Canada, the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that with many small and medium economy cars introduced into the market this quarter, the vehicle industry's output value might be improved.