Ford subsidiary eyes Taiwan’s third largest car vendor spot


TAIPEI–Ford Lio Ho Motor Co., a Taiwanese subsidiary of the U.S. car maker, said yesterday the company is eyeing the third-largest car vendor title on the island after it posted strong growth in sales in the past 11 months.

Ford ranked the fourth-largest car vendor in Taiwan by selling 19,960 units in the 11-month period, up almost 15 percent from a year earlier.

In November alone, Ford Lio Ho sold 1,896 units, up nearly 7 percent from October.

The carmaker said it is gearing up to launch promotion campaigns through discounts in a bid to grasp a larger share of the market and push itself a notch higher in the domestic car vendor rankings.

Hotai Motor, a local dealer of Japan’s Toyota Motor, is the biggest car vendor in Taiwan in the 11 months ahead of Yulon Nissan Motor, which is a joint venture between Taiwan’s Yulon Group and Japan-based Nissan Motor, and China Motor, a joint company between Yulon and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan.

According to Ford Lio Ho, it was encouraging for the company to sell out a limited version of 500 units of a new Ford Focus model on the island right after it unveiled the new model in October.

A Ford Lio Ho showroom in Taipei told the CNA that many potential car buyers have even called up to ask about the possibility of providing the local market with more new Focus cars with the newly designed interior and sports car features.

In addition, Ford’s Fiesta model, which has sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide, grasped the best imported small car seller title in Taiwan in the first 11 months of this year.

Ford Lio Ho said the company will kick off a “golden five year program” in which the company will introduce more quality car models into the local market and its showrooms will be equipped with advanced hardware and software to upgrade services to woo consumers and eventually take a higher market share.

While the economic fundamentals at home and abroad have showed signs of slowing down, Ford’s strength in quality, energy efficiency, safety and technology upgrade is expected to offset the macroeconomic impact and boost its sales.

Among its promotion campaigns, Ford Lio Ho will provide the latest version of Garmin voice navigation system to buyers of most of its models by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the car vendor said it will leave the 2012 Escape model’s price unchanged until the end of this year. The price will rise NT$20,000 (US$663) per unit, starting from January.