TAIPEI – The 15-month slide in new-car sales in Taiwan may have bottomed out, as March sales rose a hefty 24.6% on February, marking the second straight increase.

February sales were up 3.7% from January levels.

Makers attribute the recovery to the government`s commodity-tax reduction plan for new-car purchases and say total sales for the first half of the year could reach 120,000 units.

Honda Taiwan Co. Ltd., which saw a massive 222% month-on-month surge in sales in March, says strong demand for nearly all locally assembled models is causing delays in delivery.

Both Honda Taiwan and Kuozui Motors Ltd. have bolstered capacity and will take on new workers, with Honda saying it will hire 100 temporary employees and Kuozui planning to add 150 student workers through cooperative programs with local schools.

Honda has canceled all weekends off in May and plans to switch to two shifts in June to meet the increased demand.