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Taiwan’s new vehicle market continued to fall in July 2021, by over 13% to 38,064 units from 43,939 units a year earlier, according to registration data compiled by Taiwan’s Directorate of Highways.

Sales last month continued to be affected by the recent surge in Covid infections, with dealer activity well below levels seen earlier in the year. The government downgraded the severity of the virus alert towards the end of July as the outbreak was gradually brought under control and the vaccine roll out was stepped up.

The country’s economy rebounded by 7.5% year on year in the second quarter of 2021 after shrinking by 12% in the same period of last year, driven by a 37% surge in exports. Domestic economic activity, particularly the service sector, was held back by the recent virus outbreak.

In the first seven months of the year the vehicle market was still 2.4% higher at 259,873 units from 253,720 units in the same period of last year. Domestic sales continued to drive the market forward with volume rising 7% to 138,363 units helped by strong demand for locally-made models such as the Toyota Corolla Cross, the Ford Focus and Kuga.

Sales of imported vehicles fell 2.3% to 121,510 units.

Toyota’s sales slipped 3% to 70,820 units year to date while Mercedes-Benz increased by over 12% to 17,817, Nissan 16,397 (-11.9%), Ford 16,227 (+23.8%), Honda 15,275 (-9.7%) and China Motor 14,192 (+4.0%).

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By GlobalData

Last month Yulon Motor chair Lilian Chen said she was optimistic the domestic vehicle market would rebound in the second half of the year with the recent Covid outbreak brought under control. The company plans to launch a number of new models in the coming months, including the latest Nissan Leaf EV.