News: China Motor believes the commercial car segment will contract 4% in Taiwan in 2013, to 10,000 units, Taipei Times reports. The vehicle distributor believes commercial sales are vulnerable to growing economic uncertainty as carmakers undergo changes to meet higher environmental standards. With increased production costs and car prices, China Motor wants to capture 70% of light-weight commercial vehicle auto market in 2013. For FY13, total car sales are expected to be 365,000, a decrease from 365,871 in 2012.
BMI View: According to the Taiwan Vehicle Manufacturers Association (TVMA), domestic vehicle sales for 2012 came in at 270,078 units, down 5.5%. This was the first contraction in auto sales in four years. The passenger car segment contracted by 10%, to 211,578 units. However, the commercial vehicle (CV) was a bright spot and 2012 CV sales went on to grow 15.6%, to 58,500 units. We forecast 2013 sales to improve as we believe bearish sentiment in the auto market has reached a peak in 2012. We forecast passenger car sales to grow 7%, to hit 230,000 units and we forecast CV sales to grow 8%, to hit 60,000 units.