Taipei automobile show opens to hot orders


TAIPEI–Car companies received better-than-expected orders on the first day of a biennial auto show in Taipei Saturday, with the turnout showing substantial growth from the previous show.

The 19th Taipei International Auto Show attracted over 36,000 people on opening day, a 30-percent increase from the 2009 record, the organizer said.

The organizer attributed the growth to an improved economic situation and a depreciation of the euro that contributed to lower prices for European cars.

Chu Mei-chun, chief executive officer of Mazda Taiwan, said the brand expects to obtain 250 to 300 orders during the nine-day show and that the situation was better than previously expected. The company has received some 1,500 local orders for the Mazda 5, which was released in Taiwan a month ago, an exponential jump from its monthly average of 800 orders for all of its models, she added.

Chu said prices for Japanese cars will gradually increase in 2012 and that the first day of the show attracted people wanting to purchase before the planned price hike.

In addition, Taiwanese auto brand Luxgen Motor Co. said the area reserved for purchasing talks at its booth was full throughout the day and estimated that the number of orders from the show is expected to break the record of 300 in 2009.

Luxgen also showcased four models of its latest model, the Luxgen 5 sedan.

Volkswagen’s Taiwan branch obtained 35 orders on the first day, with a representative adding that the 50 limited edition Golf Variant being sold at a discount price had already sold out, prompting the company to bring in another 50 of the cars.

Meanwhile, luxury cars also enjoyed popularity at the show. Mercedes-Benz Taiwan received an order for its SLS vehicle with a price tag of NT$14.25 million. The German carmaker said that day that it might acquire at least 10 orders during the day.

The auto show, featuring nearly 200 new models — the most in the exhibition’s history — from 34 local and international brands will run through Jan. 1 at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1.