The production value of the local auto industry fell more than 8 percent from a year earlier in the first half of this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday, citing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data compiled by the ministry showed that the output of the local auto industry totaled NT$75.9 billion (US$2.58 billion) in the January-to-June period, down 8.5 percent from a year earlier, and 113,000 vehicles were produced, a decline of 8.4 percent from a year earlier.
The pandemic affected global demand, so orders from the Middle East, the major buyer of vehicles made in Taiwan last year, fell in the first half of the year, the ministry said.
Production value at auto parts makers fell 17.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$76.6 billion in the first six months of this year, the ministry said, adding that the fall was largely due to a sharp decline in orders from buyers in the US and Europe.
Exports of Taiwan-made auto parts for the six-month period dropped 17.4 percent, with sales bound for the US, Japan and China — the three largest markets — down 11.0 percent, 23.6 percent and 17.7 percent respectively, it said.
However, the local auto industry reversed four years of declines in production value last year as its exports rose more than 43 percent from a year earlier, offsetting a decline of 2.3 percent in domestic sales.
Exports account for only about 10 percent of the total sales of Taiwan’s auto industry.
Last year, the production value of Taiwan’s auto industry rose 0.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$167.4 billion, while vehicle exports benefited from an increase in orders placed by the Middle East market, which favored a certain passenger vehicle brand, the ministry said, declining to identify the brand.
Taiwan rolled out 255,000 vehicles last year, down 0.3 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said, adding that passenger vehicles made up more than 60 percent of production.
The production value generated by Taiwanese auto parts makers last year fell 3.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$186.1 billion, as domestic vehicle sales fell and international brands adjusted their inventories.
Taiwanese auto parts makers largely depend on exports, with the US accounting for 48.7 percent of total outbound sales last year, ahead of Japan (6.3 percent) and China (3.2 percent), the ministry said.
Meanwhile, vehicle sales in the local market for the first eight months of this year rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 289,000 units, with sales of imported vehicles accounting for 145,000 units, it said.
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