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Taiwan’s Automobile Production Drops 2% to 250,000 Units in 2020, Domestic Demand Rises Despite the Pandemic

Taiwan's automobile production in 2020 decreased 2.3% from the previous year to 246,000 units. CBU exports fell over 40% to 19,000 units, while production for the domestic market expanded to 226,000 units, an estimated 3.5% increase. Since the decrease in production was modest, it remained at about the same level as in 2018 and 2019. The growth in production for the domestic market is attributed to the launch of new models, including the Toyota Corolla Cross, amid steady demand for new vehicles. In Taiwan, where the popularity of imported vehicles is growing, the number of vehicles produced domestically has been declining; however, for the first time in six years production went up in 2020.

While the production scale for the domestic market slightly increased against the backdrop of strong domestic demand, automobile exports fell sharply. The export ratio as a percentage of total production declined 5.1 percentage points to 7.8%. Due to the pandemic, market conditions in the Middle East, which is a major destination for automobile exports from Taiwan, deteriorated, forcing a significant decline in exports. Exports of the Corolla Altis to the Middle East by Kuozui Motor has been accounting for almost all of Taiwan's automobile exports. The automaker has also begun to export the Corolla Cross, which was newly launched in 2020.

Looking at production results in 2020 by vehicle type, passenger vehicles decreased 4.5% to 181,000 units, accounting for 73.7% of total production. Commercial vehicles rose 4.7% to 65,000 units. Of which, light commercial vehicles ascended 2.6% to 57,000 vehicles, while medium and heavy commercial vehicles went up 24.4% to 7,286 units, both categories increasing compared to the previous year.

By manufacturer, market-leader Kuozui Motor, which manufactures the Toyota and Hino brands in Taiwan, fell 5.0% to 100,000 units. Production of the Toyota brand decreased 2.6% to 94,000 units, while the Hino brand declined 32.7% to 5,548 units. The production volume of the Toyota Corolla Cross, which came off the line in October 2020, reached 16,000 units by the end of the year. The production volume of the Corolla Altis, which has the highest production scale in Taiwan, dropped 31.5% to 38,000 units. The exports of the Corolla Altis fell 41.1% to 17,000 units.

Kuozui Motors was followed by China Motor, down 9.8% to 45,000 units, and Yulon Motor whose production was on par with the previous year’s level with 38,000 units. Ford Liu Ho Motor performed well, production going up 42.7% to 25,000 units. The company began producing the new Kuga by June 2020 and the Focus Active in December 2020. The two models pushed up overall production by 12,000 units.

Taiwan: Recent Developments Regarding Automobile Production and Exports

Kuozui Motors (Toyota / Hino)

・In October 2020, the Corolla Cross went into production. Exports to Morocco and other countries began in the same month. - This is the first time that Toyota exports from Taiwan to North Africa. - Toyota plans to expand exports to six countries in the Middle East in 2021.

China Motor (CMC / Mitsubishi)

・In September 2020, CMC began exporting the Veryca (panel van) to the Middle East. ・In September 2020, the Zinger pickup truck went into production. ・In 2021, the company plans to start exporting the Delica (van / pickup) to the Middle East and Central America. - In December 2020, the company exported its first batch to the Middle East. ・The full-year automobile export target for 2021 is 1,800 units (as of November 2020).

Yulon Motor (Nissan / Luxgen)

・Production of the Nissan March was discontinued around February 2020 followed by the Nissan Livina in August. ・In September 2020, Yulon began manufacturing new Nissan Sentra. ・Discontinued production of the Luxgen U5 / S3 in mid-2020 and the Luxgen S5 in around December. ・The new Tiida went into production by February 2021. ・It is expected that the Luxgen MBU will come off the line by the end of 2022.

Honda Taiwan (Honda)

・In October 2020, Honda Taiwan ended production of the City. ・By the latter half of 2021, the production of the new Fit is expected to start.

Ford Lio Ho Motor (Ford)

・Production of the Fiesta and Escort was discontinued around February 2020. ・The new Kuga went into production by June 2020. ・The Focus Active came off the line in December 2020.

SYM (Hyundai / Kia)

・By January 2020, production of the Kia Carens and Picanto was discontinued. ・SYM began producing the Hyundai Kona in February 2020 and the Hyundai Venue in April.

Taiwan: Models Whose Production Started / Ended in 2018-2020

Production Started Production Ended
Model Date Model Date
Nissan Kicks Nov. 2018 Nissan Teana Sep. 2018
Toyota Corolla Altis HEV Mar. 2019 Toyota Camry / Camry HEV (switched to CBU imports) Around Nov. 2018 (Old model Aug. 2020)
Hyundai Kona Feb. 2020
Hyundai Venue Apr. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe (switched to CBU imports) Around Nov.2019
CMC Zinger pickup truck Sep. 2020 Kia Carens/Picanto (switched to CBU imports) By Jan. 2020
Toyota Corolla Cross Oct. 2020 Nissan March, Ford Fiesta/Escort Around Feb. 2020
Ford Focus Active Dec. 2020 Nissan Livina Aug. 2020
Luxgen MBU By end of 2022 Luxgen U5 / S3 Mid-2020
Honda City Oct. 2020
Luxgen S5 Around Dec. 2020
(Created using company PR materials and various media sources)
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