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Car sales in Taiwan hit record monthly high for 2012 in July

TAIPEI -- Car sales in Taiwan hit a record monthly high in July for the year mainly because of intensive promotion by suppliers, which offset the impact of a slowing economy, according to government statistics released yesterday.

The statistics compiled by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed car sales for last month totaled 40,840 units, up 34.9 percent from June and 5.8 percent year-on-year.

Market sources said car vendors have been stepping up their promotion campaigns in an attempt to attract buyers ahead of Ghost Month on the lunar calendar, which begins Aug. 17 and ends Sept. 15.

Local consumers tend not to make major purchases like cars or homes during Ghost Month to avoid bad luck, so they usually make their purchases before or after the period, the sources said.

With 15 days still to go before the start of Ghost Month, car vendors will continue their promotion campaigns, which will likely push car sales up in August to around 25,000 units, up 8 percent from a year earlier, the sources said.

In July, Hotai Motor Co., a local agent for Japan-based Toyota Motor, sold 15,500 cars, the highest number in 18 months. Hotai retained its ranking as the largest car vendor in Taiwan, taking a 38-percent market share, which was also a record high for the company for this year.

China Motor Corp. was in second place, with sales of 6,026 units last month and a 14.8-percent market share. Its July sales beat its earlier estimate of about 5,000 units.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co. was the third largest car vendor in July with sales of 4,063 units, which represented 9.9 percent of the total car sales in Taiwan, better than the company's expectations.

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Attendees look at an electric car designed by Taiwan's Yulon Motor at the World Trade Center in Taipei on April 14, 2011. Car sales in Taiwan hit a record monthly high in July for the year mainly because of intensive promotion by suppliers, which offset the impact of a slowing economy, according to government statistics released yesterday. (AFP)

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