Taiwan: Becoming a Development Base for Toyota, Mitsubishi,
New vehicle sales in Taiwan, which plummeted to 347 thousand units in 2001, recovered to the 399 thousand unit level in 2002. From January to June in 2003 when a negative impact from SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) to new vehicle sales drew concern, it surpassed the previous year with 200 thousand units. Four companies, namely; Kuozui Motors 57% owned by Toyota, China Motors 15 % owned by Mitsubishi Motors, Yulon Motor 25% owned by Nissan, and Ford Lio Ho Motor 70% owned by Ford, accounted for 75% of new vehicle sales. These 4 major companies accounted for 90% of vehicle production. Honda, which has a tie up with San Yang Industry in production and sales, the fifth largest manufacturer in Taiwan, launched production through its wholly owned subsidiary.
In spite of the recovery in new vehicle sales, the Taiwan market used to enjoy favorable new vehicle sales, that is; 576 thousand unit sales in 1994 and at around the 470 thousand unit level until 1998. In the long-lagging market, sales by China Motors and Yulon Motor, which are member companies of the Yulon Group furthering joint production in China independently, are expected to surpass sales in Taiwan. Further, in November 2002, China Motors submitted an application for joint production of commercial vehicles among three companies, including DaimlerChrysler (DCX) and Fujian Motor Industry Group. According to the announcement in May 2003, Yulon Motor's business in China will be consolidated to the joint venture business of Nissan and Dongfeng Motor Corporation, while Yulon Motor will be reorganized as a supporting base for Nissan's business in China.
These 4 companies, Kuozui, China Motors, Yulon, and Ford Lio Ho, aspire for the position as a base of their partner auto manufacturers under a global division of labor through the strengthening their function of development and design functions. The models designed by the respective research and development bases of those 4 companies are manufactured also in Asian production bases of the business partners, while Taiwan bases supply exterior parts to Asian plants more than ever.
■Vehicle Unit Sales per Taiwan Auto Manufacturer
Taiwan's vehicle production volume was 333 thousand units in 2002, increasing by 61 thousand units over the previous year; however, it remains below the 350,000 unit level. From January to May in 2003, unit production increased 25 thousand units over the previous year to 153 thousand units. It is still less than a half of its production level, reaching 700 thousand units.
The following actions were taken by car makers in 2002: Honda founded a wholly owned subsidiary; Fuji Heavy Industries withdrew from production businesses under a tie-up with Ta-Ching Motor; San Yang Industry, which ended the partnership with Honda, tied up with Hundai Motor Company. These all took place in 2002. In contrast, GM stopped negotiation with Formosa Automobile, which is tied up with Daewoo Motor in Korea, as they did not reach agreement over the contract production of Buick brand vehicles in April 2003. It is reported that GM sounded Yulon Motor in tie-up.
■Unit Production per Manufacturer in Taiwan
■Major Taiwan Auto Manufacturers
■Honda Launches Production and Sales through its Wholly Owned Subsidiary, While San Yang Industry Ties up with Hundai Motors
■Honda Launches Production of CR-V in January 2003 through Its Wholly Owned Subsidiary with a Production Capacity of 50,000 Units
Honda started production and sales of CR-V through its wholly owned subsidiary, Honda Taiwan in January of 2003. Honda Taiwan was established in February 2002. The company purchased Ping-Tung Plant of Ta-Ching Motor in June 2002, which prompted Fuji Heavy Industries to end the tie-up. Established in 1962, the 40-year long affiliation with San Yang Industry starting production, importation, and sales of 4-wheelers and 2-wheelers at the end of June, 2002.
Ping-Tung Plant of Ta-Ching Motor acquired by Honda, of which production capacity was 30 thousand units, terminated production of the Subaru Impreza of Fuji Heavy Industries in April 2002. Honda expanded the plant's production capacity to 50 thousand units by upgrading and adding facilities to introduce Honda's unique flexible production system. Honda plans to manufacture 10,000 CR-Vs for the first year. In autumn 2003, it is expected that either of the models, Accord, Fit, or New City will be added to its production.
Honda, which ended the affiliation with San Yang Industry, is also challenged with establishing its independent sales network. The company targeted the number of dealers at 20 companies by the end of 2002, 30 companies by the end of 2003 and 70 companies by the end of 2004. The sales target is set at 12 thousand units in 2003 and 25 thousand units in 2005, including imported vehicles.
■Outline of Honda Taiwan, Wholly Owned by Honda
■San Yang Industry: Aiming at Taiwan's Top 3 in Sales within 3 Years through a Tie-up with Hyundai Motors
San Yang Industry and Hyundai Motors signed the distributorship agreement in May 2002. The distributorship was assigned from the same ChiFon group member, Chin Chung Motor, to San Yang Industry. San Yang Industry started trading of the imported Hyundai Matrix in June 2002, while launching production of the Hyundai Elantra in September. In June 2003, the company switched to local production of the Matrix.
San Yang Industry aims at 1) bouncing back to Taiwan's top 5 in vehicle sales in 2003; and 2) being ranked in Taiwan's top 3 in sales through the manufacturing of three to five types of Hyundai brand vehicles within 3 years. Incidentally, Chin Chung Motor continues manufacturing the Hyundai GX as well as the Volkswagen T4 after the distributorship of Hyundai Motors was assigned to San Yang Industry.
■Recent Movements in Reorganization in Taiwan
■Nissan and DCX Form Partnership with Yulon Motor and China Motors Respectively for Chinese Business
Yulon Motor and China Motors of Yulon Group promoted automotive business in Fujian Province and Guandong Province across the ocean. China Motors jointly founded Southeast (Fujian) Motor with Fujian Motor Industry Group in 1995. On the other hand, Yulon Motor took an equity stake in Fengshen Automobile Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Dongfeng Motor Corp. It is expected that businesses of both companies in China, which exhibit strong performance, will boost Chinese businesses in unit sales level higher than Taiwanese businesses.
■Yulon's Business in China Consolidated to a Joint Business of Nissan and Dongfeng; Yulon to Be Reorganized to a China Business Support Base
According to the announcement by Yulon Motor and Nissan, they have agreed in May 2003 that Yulon Motor will spin off sales, marketing, engineering, purchasing and China business support functions to found a new joint venture company, YLN (tentative name). Yulon Motor will continue manufacturing in addition to trading imported Renault vehicles. Nissan will withdraw the capital to transfer it to YLN. Through this reorganization, Yulon Motor will be divided into YLO (tentative name: Yulon Original) wholly owned by local capital and YLN 40% owned by Nissan and 60% owned by YLO.
One of YLN's businesses is supporting Nissan for Chinese business. All holdings of Yulon Motor, including Fengshen Automobile and its distributors, and other China business related enterprises, will be transferred to YLN, which will provide Nissan with the necessary support for businesses in China.
Fengshen Automobile, which is a subsidiary of Dongfeng Motor Corp., 40% owned by Yulon Motor, has manufactured Fengshen brand Bluebird under the license agreement with Nissan. Hudau Plant of Fengshen Automobile, which had an annual production capacity of 20,000 units, has increased it to 60,000 units in total with Xiangfan plant in 2002. In contrast, the company started construction on the 2nd Hudau Plant with a production capacity of 120,000 units, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2004. The company has plans to boost the production capacity to 240,000 units in a total of 3 plants by expanding the production capacity of the new plant to 150,000 units in 2006 and the existing Hudau and Xiangfan plants to 90,000 units in total. There are also plans to increase models to be produced in addition to the Bluebird; the Sunny in June 2003 and the March in 2005.
Nissan and Dongfeng Motor Corp. signed a capital alliance in September 2002 and found Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., taking over the businesses of Dongfeng Motor Corp. in June 2003. The new company sets its sales target of 2006 at 550,000 units, including 220,000 units of Nissan brand passenger vehicles and 330,000 units of Dongfeng brand commercial vehicles. Businesses of Fengshen Automobile will be absorbed into the new company of Nissan and Dongfeng, which will manufacture passenger vehicles in Fengshen Automobile. The new company's production plan of 22 thousand passenger vehicles is almost in line with the existing plans of Yulon Motor and Fengshen Automobile. The new company plans to increase the production models to six models in addition to the Bluebird. For the first step, the company launched production of the Nissan brand Sunny at the Hudau Plant in June 2003. In 2004, the company will launch production of the Teana.
■Yulon Motor Spin off
■China Motors: Launches Production of Passenger Vehicles in China, and Also Plans Joint Production of Commercial Vehicles with DCX
China Motors was authorized by the State Council of the P. R. China in December 2002 to manufacture passenger vehicles, and the company launched production of the Lioncel based on the Mitsubishi Lancer in March 2003 at Southeast (Fujian) Motor, its joint venture company in China. Southeast (Fujian) Motor invested 90 million U.S. dollars to construction of a new plant to bolster its production capacity, which is expected to be completed by September 2003. China Motors has an annual production capacity of 120,000 units in Taiwan, while Southeast (Fujian) Motor has the capacity of 60,000 units, which will be expanded to 120,000-150,000 units after the completion of the new plant.
Southeast (Fujian) Motor founded by China Motors and Fujian Motor Industry Group Corp. in 1995 on an equal equity position has manufactured the Freeca based on Mitsubishi Delica since 1999. Southeast (Fujian) Motor expects that the unit sales will be doubled from 47,000 units in 2002 to 100,000 units in 2003 through introducing the Lioncel. China Motors also plans to launch production of the Savrin based on the Mitsubishi Grandis at Southeast (Fujian) Motor in 2004.
In addition, in November 2002, DCX and China Motors agreed to found a joint venture company with Fujian Motor Industry Group to manufacture M-Benz brand commercial vehicles in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province China. Both companies announced that they submitted an application to the State Council of China. The equity positions among them are anticipated as follows; DCX and China Motors will hold 50% in total (both companies are likely to hold 25% each, but they are still in negotiation) and Fujian Motor Industry Group will hold the other 50%. The joint venture company will manufacture NCV 2 (New Concept Van2: planned to be manufactured in mid of 2003 in Spain) and the Sprinter on an annual production scale of 20,000 units. If it is approved within 2003, the company will launch production in 2005.
■Auto Production Business by Yulon Group in China
■Moves to Becoming a Base for Designing, Development and Parts Supply of Models for the Asian Markets
Four companies, Kuozui, Ford Lio Ho, Yulon and China, expanded their research and development base, where they design and develop models for the Taiwan market. Their automotive manufacturing partners are adopting more Taiwanese designed models for the Asian market.
■Kuozui Motors Designs Toyota Corolla and Camry for the Asian Market
Toyota is carrying out an investment plan that amounts to 14.4 billion Taiwan Yuan during the 4-year period between 2001 and 2004 in the Research and Development Center of Kuozui Motors. In 2001 the company started construction of the Kuozui Research and Development Center within the premises of Chun-Li Plant, including an office building, a general testing laboratory, a preproduction room, test-run courses etc. The construction was completed in April 2002. Toyota intends to position the Center as a development base of left-hand drive vehicles for the Asian market.
Kuozui Motors established Kuozui Technical Center in early 2000. According to a source the competence and ability was highly appreciated by Toyota when it took part in the specification changes of the interior and exterior parts of the Taiwanese made Corolla Altis, introduced to the market in March 2001. Toyota adopted Taiwanese design to the Atlis which was manufactured in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam plants.
Kuozui Motors undertook changing the specifications of the interior and exterior parts for the Taiwanese made Camry which was introduced into the market in March 2002. This Taiwanese designed Camry will be manufactured by Toyota plants in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Kuozui Motors will support these plants through engineering, production management and parts supply.
Incidentally, it is not announced how far Kuozui Motors is committed to designing the new model, the Platz-based Vios, released in March 2003, which was introduced thirdly to the Taiwanese market following China and Thailand.
■Ford Designs Laser and Escape at Ford Lio Ho Motor for the Asian Market
Ford Lio Ho Motor said that it would invest 2 to 3 billion Taiwan Yuan per year from 2002 to develop new models. The Design, Research and Development Center of Ford Lio Ho Motor now commits to changing the interior and exterior specifications for the Escape, which is planned to be manufactured in Taiwan from 2004. It is planned that Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Australian plants will launch production of the Taiwanese designed Escape at the end of 2004 or in early 2005. Ford Lio Ho will supply exterior parts to the respective Ford plants.
Ford Lio Ho made design change of the Laser Tierra. It has exported auto bodies and parts of the Laser Tierra to Ford's Filipino plant since 2002. In the Philippines, this model is manufactured and sold under the name Lynx, which is also exported to Thailand and Indonesia.
■Yulon Motor: Authorized to Decide Design Changes to Nissan Vehicles for Taiwan
According to Yulon Motor, the company has become a contract manufacturer authorized to make decisions about design and specifications, as Yulon Asia Technical Center (YATC) was incorporated into Nissan's research and development organization. Yulon Motor has said that its annual developmental costs for products account for 4.5% of annual sales (around 1.5 billion Taiwan Yuan). YATC will be under the umbrella of YLN after Yulon Motor is spun off.
YATC developed and designed the X-Trail under Taiwanese specifications, spending two years, and finally introduced it into the market in December 2002. YATC independently designed the Sentra Exalta for Nissan Motor Philippines 75% owned by Yulon Motor. The X-Trail under the Taiwanese specifications will also be manufactured by the Filipino plant.
■China Motors: Becomes a Base of Development and Supply of Mitsubishi's Left-hand Drive Vehicles
In July 2002, China Motors completed construction of a testing room, test-run course, and a new painting factory of the Vehicle Testing Center, to which the company invested 1.7 billion Taiwan Yuan. China Motors plans to manufacture cost-conscious models in the joint venture company in China, Southeast (Fujian) Motor, and then export them to Taiwan in the future. The company positions Taiwan as a design center and the base of production of high-value added models.
China Motors launched exportation Delica Space Gear with MMC's tag showing the Mitsubishi brand to the Philippines in May 2003. It is the first time for China Motors to export Mitsubishi brand vehicles, which are considered one movement towards creating an export base of Mitsubish Motors' left-hand drive vehicles. This Delica Space Gear was the model remodeled by China Motors Asia Research and Technical Center(CARTEC), a research and development center of China Motors, in early 2003. The Delica Space Gear for the Philippines has been manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors in Japan till today. The Mitsubishi-made Delica Space Gear with a 3000 cc diesel engine was sold at 1.3 million pesos (around 2.95 million yen), while the China Motors-made model with a 2400 cc gasoline engine is priced at 1.08 million peso (around 2.45 million yen).
In May 2003, China Motors introduced the Global Lancer jointly developed with DCX to the Taiwan market. The Global Lancer is planned to be manufactured in Thailand and Philippines, while China Motors will export the optional parts. The scale of exports is anticipated at 2,000 units per month.
By contrast, in September 2002, China Motors stopped the production plans of the Colt based small-sized model developed by Mitsubishi Motors in Taiwan, because it would be less competitive in price due to higher production costs. China Motors, which invested 400 million to 500 million Taiwan Yuan for the development of the Colt based model, had plans to start manufacturing in Taiwan at the end of 2003 and Southeast (Fujian) Motor in 2005. China Motors requested Mitsubishi to develop another Colt based small sized car at low price for Taiwan and China, while the company said the possibility to choose other models within the DCX Group.
■Research and Development Centers of Major Taiwan Makers
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