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Automakers call for gov't subsidies to aid car buyers

TAIPEI -- Vehicle manufacturers and vendors called on the government Monday to offer cash subsidies or reduce commodity taxes for people seeking to replace their old cars or motorcycles, as over half of the nation's cars are a decade old.

More than 52 percent of Taiwan's 7.37 million cars are 10 years old, said the Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers Association. Of those, more than 2 million vehicles on the road that are at least 15 years old.

Switch older vehicles for newer models could boost environmental protection efforts, road safety and even industrial development, the association said, arguing for a subsidy plan to encourage the public to do so.

Hotai Motor Co., a Taiwanese sales agent for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., has made similar calls for the government to focus on subsidizing drivers replacing their older cars with eco-friendly ones.

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