December 19, 2012 Taipei Times – Local automaker Yulon Motor Co Ltd, which sells Luxgen multi-purpose vehicles, yesterday said it aimed to boost annual own-brand car sales in China to half a million vehicles in 2020 after completing its product portfolio for the world’s biggest motor market.

The figure is about 10 times higher than the company’s sales target of 55,000 units for next year in the Chinese market, Yulon president Chen Kuo-rong said.

“After adding multi-purpose vehicles [MPV], sedans and sports-utility vehicles [SUV] to our lineup, we will have a portfolio of eight models in 2018 or 2019. After that, I think we can sell 500,000 units in China a year,” company chairman and chief executive officer Kenneth Yen said.

Yen made the remarks about the company’s long-term ambitions in China at a forum organized by Pan Wen-Yuan Foundation.

In September last year, Yulon made inroads into the Chinese auto market by focusing exclusively on high-priced SUVs, a strategy which is different from Chinese automakers.

“We started our China business by entering the smallest and most expensive segment, rather than tapping into the low-priced sedan market like most Chinese car brands did,” Chen said. “Now, we are selling our second model in China at a price even higher than a Mercedes Benz.”

This year, Yulon expected to sell 32,000 Luxgen SUVs in China, which has a market of 20 million units a year, Chen said.

Yulon unveiled its first Luxgen-brand automobiles in Taiwan three years ago after selling Nissan-branded cars in Taiwan and China for a decade through joint venture Yulon Nissan Motor Co.

Russia is Yulon’s next target in its overseas expansion, Chen said.

“Russia is an emerging market with annual auto sales of 3 million units a year. I think we have a good chance [of getting some business there,]” he added.

At present, Yulon was in talks with car retailers to sell its vehicles in Russia and hoped to launch its first model by the second half of next year after finishing certification procedures, Chen said.

Separately, Chen said sales of Nissan vehicles in China mostly recovered this month after the adverse effect of territorial disputes between China and Japan subdued.

Commenting on the Taiwanese market, Chen said vehicle sales are expected to be flat or to improve slightly next year from this year’s 360,000 units.

He also said car sales in Taiwan would make up a smaller portion of Yulon’s total vehicle sales over the next few years.

Shares of Yulon inched up 0.74 percent to NT$54.6 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX, which rose 0.16 percent.


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