Taiwan’s new vehicle market plunged by 32.5% to 27,930 units in June 2021 from 41,386 units a year earlier, according to registration data compiled by Taiwan’s Directorate of Highways.

Sales activity last month was significantly affected by a recent surge in Covid-19 infections with the government imposing social and business restrictions while stepping up disease monitoring and vaccinations across the country. Customer visits to dealers declined sharply during the month.

In the first half of the year, the overall market was still up by 5.7% at 221,809 units from 209,782 units in the same period of last year, reflecting a strong rebound in economic growth in the country this year.

GDP expanded by 8.2% year-on-year in the first quarter, driven by strong domestic consumption and exports, with strong growth continuing in the second quarter.

Sales of imported vehicles declined by 1.4% to 103,515 units in the first six months of the year, while sales of domestically-produced vehicles surged by almost 13% to 118,294 units – helped by strong demand for locally-made models such as the Toyota Corolla Cross, the Ford Focus and Ford Kuga.

Toyota’s first-half sales increased by just 1.3% to 60,646 units while Mercedes-Benz sales increased by almost 13% to 15,631 units, Nissan 14,317 (-5.2%), Ford 13,849 (+36.2%), Honda 12,751 (-4.2%) and China Motor 12,190 (+10.5%).