Japan car importers consent to give discounts

Japan car importers consent to give discounts

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Following a "coffee appointment" with Ministry of Economic Affairs officials, eight distributors of Japanese automobiles yesterday consented to render price discounts, prizes, upgrade packages and other bonuses for consumers in an effort to boost sales in light of the rapidly tumbling yen.

Yesterday's meeting marked the third of such brainstorming sessions with importers of Japanese goods for the year.

According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BFT) officials, Japanese automobile importers indicated that they are aware of ongoing confusion from consumers about why the price of Japanese goods remains stable as the value of Japan's currency falls. However, importers stated that they are unable to immediately render discounts, but hope to do so in time.

Of the eight importers present at yesterday's meeting, a few had announced discounts beginning in June. According to the BFT, Hotai Motor will reduce the price of a number of Toyota models by NT$29,900 (S$997), in addition to offering a complimentary 50-inch LED display monitor with the purchase of a vehicle.

The distributor of Mazda vehicles indicated that on June 1, discounts will be announced for the Mazda 2 model. A discount of NT$60,000 will be put in effect for various Daihatsu vehicles, its importer said yesterday.

Subaru stated no additional price changes, will be implimented as it has already slashed the price of its cars by 5 per cent previously in February and March. Honda declined to provide details, but hinted at possible discounts beginning in June.

Three additional importers stated that depending on exchange rate developments, discounts may be rolled out on several of its car models.

However, the BFT stated that they are anticipating a slow year for the automotive industry, with projection of new car sales this year reduced from 370,000 to 350,000.

At the conclusion of the meeting, seven out of eight importers signed a declaration document, pledging to render discounts depending on the shift of the yen, the BFT said.

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