Taiwan’s new vehicle market continued to shrug off the growing global threat of the COVID19 coronavirus in March 2020 with sales jumping by over 15% to 37,279 units from a depressed 32,391 units a year earlier, according to local reports citing registration data compiled by Taiwan’s Directorate of Highways.

First quarter sales were up by 8.2% at 104,046 units compared with 96,174 units in the same period of last year with a more than 10% decline in January offset by sharply higher sales in February and March. 

Sales of imported vehicles rose by almost 19% to 53,116 units in the quarter to claim a 51% share of the total market. Domestic sales declined by 1.1% to 50,930 units, reflecting some production stoppages due to global supply chain disruption as a result of the coronavirus.

Toyota Lexus distributor Hotai Motor reported a 6.6% rise in first quarter sales to 30,087 units, thanks to strong demand for the Toyota RAV4 compact SUV and for upmarket Lexus models.

Yulon Nissan reported a 7.7% sales decline to 7,843 units in the same period while Mercedes-Benz sales fell by 2.8% to 7,078 units and Honda plunged by 20% to 6,058 units.