New vehicle sales in Taiwan fell by 28.8% to 26,035 units in August from 36,575 units a year earlier, according to local reports citing data compiled by Taiwan's directorate of highways.

Sales were also 39.5% lower compared with July's 43,056 sales as superstitious buyers stayed away from showrooms during 'ghost' month - the seventh month after the lunar new year. 

Many Taiwanese think buying durable goods during this four week period brings bad luck for the rest of the year. Last year, ghost month fell mostly in September.

Imports amounted to 13,150 units in August, accounting for more than half of total vehicle sales for the first time.

Overall volume in the first eight months of the year was down by 1.3% to 291,285 units from 295,129 in the same period of last year.

Hotai Motor, the local distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Hino vehicles, saw its slice fall by 46.5% year on year to 6,356 units last month, resulting in its market share dipping to 24.4%.

Mitsubishi distributor China Motor Corporation reported a smaller 19.6% annual drop in sales to 3,262 units, helped by a large commercial vehicle fleet deal with Chunghwa Post and inventory run-out ahead of the forthcoming launch of the new Verica model.

Mazda sold 1,866 vehicles last month, followed by Mercedes Benz with 1,754 units, Yulon Nissan (1,633) and Honda (1,596).

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