New vehicle sales in Taiwan continued to drift lower in May, with a 6.7% year-on-year decline to 35,348 units from 37,878 units a year earlier, according to data released by local industry sources.

The market is currently at close to peak levels, having expanding strongly since hitting a cyclical low of 230,000 units in 2008. GDP growth slowed to 2.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, from 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Total sales in the first five months of 2017 were 1.3% lower at 177,059 units, compared with 179,458 units in the same period of last year. The industry expects sales to pick up in the second half of the year, helped by dealer promotions.

Market leader Hotai Motor –the distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Hino vehicles, reported a 12.1% drop in sales to 10,373 units last month, while Mitsubishi Motors' distributor China Motor Corporation's sales fell by 15.3% to 3,851 units.

Yulon Nissan Motor saw its sales fall by 15.6% to 3,393 units in May, after rebounding in the previous month, while Mercedes-Benz reported a 14.8% sales rise to 2,310 units and Honda's sales were 10.1% higher at 2,573 units.