Car sales beat expectation in January: Morgan Stanley


TAIPEI–Automobile sales in Taiwan rose 4.5 percent in January from a year earlier, showing better-than-expected growth amid improving consumer confidence, according to Morgan Stanley.

Car sales in the local market totaled 42,599 units last month, beating market expectations of 38,000 to 40,000 units, the U.S. brokerage said in a recent report.

“Consumer confidence is improving, but it will take time to determine whether it is an economic recovery,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Terence Cheng. Cheng maintained his forecast of 366,000 units for 2013 auto sales in Taiwan.

Hotai Motor Co., the Taiwanese sales agent for Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., sold 14,382 cars in January with a dominant market share of 33.8 percent, but fell short of its target of 15,000 units, the report said.

China Motor Corp., a joint venture between Taiwanese automaker Yulon Group and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan, was second with sales of 5,343 units and a 12.5-percent market share, the report said.