Taiwan’s new vehicle market fell 2% year on year to 41,487 units in May 2024 from 42,475 units a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Transportation.

After a strong start to the year, the market saw decline in each of the last four months, resulting in a slight fall in cumulative five month sales to 190,924 units from 192,467 a year ago.

The vehicle market this year has come up against strong year earlier volume while imports from Europe have also been affected by shipping delays due to geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea.

Taiwan’s economic growth accelerated to 6.5% year on year in the first quarter of 2024 from 4.9% in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by surging exports and still strong domestic consumption. The central bank increased its benchmark interest rate to 2% in March from 1.75% to combat rising inflation.

Sales of imported vehicles were down 1% to 89,714 units in the first five months of 2024, while domestic sales were just slightly lower at 101,210 units. Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV) amounted to 11,648 units, led by Tesla, domestic brand Luxgen and BMW.

Sales of Toyota vehicles fell 2% to 50,989 units year to date while Lexus sales were 10% lower at 12,527 units. Mercedes-Benz sales increased 6% to 11,627 units, followed by Honda with 11,318 units (+0.3%); Hyundai 10,422 (+13%); MG 10,020 units (+158%), China Motor 8,878 (+8%); Nissan 8,575 (-8%); BMW 7,628 (+0.3%); Mitsubishi 6,380 (-7%) and Ford 6,149 (-38%).

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Domestic BEV manufacturer Luxgen, a subsidiary of local Nissan assembler Yulon Motor, reported a threefold increase in sales of its locally developed N7 battery-powered car to 3,236 units YTD.