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Analysts forecast flat growth in Taiwan's auto market in '12

Taiwan's auto market is expected to see flat growth this year after dealers reported their worst figures for the year in September, institutional investors said.

In September, auto companies sold a total of 22,000 vehicles, down 15 percent month-on-month and 33 percent year-on-year, fewer than the 33,000 originally predicted by Goldman Sachs.

The investment bank attributed the decline to the overall poor macroeconomic situation as well as the fact the first part of last month was still the Ghost Month period.

The Chinese people observe Ghost Month in the seventh month on the Lunar Calendar, or from mid-August to mid-September this year. During this period people refrain from doing auspicious things, such as getting married or purchasing new homes or vehicles.

Because of September's poor figures, Goldman Sachs has slashed its 5-percent growth prediction for auto sales in 2012 to about 0 percent.

However, for October, Goldman Sachs forecasts a 46-percent growth month-on-month to 32,000. It also predicted this year the Luxigen-branded vehicles made by Yulon Motor may see its market share surpass the 3.4 percent it reported last year.

Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, expressed its concerns for the sales prospects of Hotai Motor, which distributes Toyota vehicles in Taiwan. Despite its status as Taiwan's auto leader, its month-on-month sales decline of 36 percent in September was distressing, Morgan Stanley said.

J. P. Morgan, meanwhile, predicted sales pressures facing auto companies in the second half, given Taiwan's poor macroeconomic situation, consumer diffidence and workers' low wages.

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