New vehicle sales in Taiwan fell by 0.5% to 41,993 units in December from 42,217 units a year earlier, according to local reports citing registration data compiled by Taiwan’s Directorate of Highways.
The market declined by 2.1% to 435,135 units in 2018 from peak levels of 444,669 units in 2017, reflecting weakening domestic sentiment as a result of the USA-China trade dispute. The latest GDP data shows economic growth slowed to 2.3% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018 from 3.3% in the second quarter.
Sales of imported vehicles were 5.7% higher at 19,630 units in December, however, and rose by 6.3% to 197,281 units over the full year to account for more than 45% of the total vehicle market.
Toyota and Lexus distributor Hotai Motor reported a 2.7% sales decline to 12,221 units in December,with the Corolla Altis and RAV4 its best-selling models with 2,619 and 2,083 units respectively. Over the full year, Toyota’s sales were 5.7% lower at 120,766 units.
Mitsubishi distributor China Motor Corporation saw its sales rise by 4.5% to 3,817 units last month, helped by strong demand for the Veryca minivan, and by 1.5% to 49,204 units year-to-date. Taiwan Honda’s sales jumped by 20% to 4,244 units in December, including 2,188 CRV sales, and were 13.9% higher at 38,822 units over the full year.
Yulon Nissan’s sales jump by 24% to 3,786 units in December, but were still 13.9% lower at 36,708 units in 2018; while Mercedes-Benz’s sales increased by 9.4% to 2,517 units and by 4.1% to 29,172 units respectively. Mazda sales were 5.2% lower at 2,411 units last month but were up by 6.1% at 23,724 units year-to-date.