Pot holes line the road ahead for Thai car industry in 2020

Domestic sales as well as exports drop in January on back of trade tensions and fall-out from the coronavirus

The Thai car industry has entered into what seems likely to be a bumpy year as it faces a number of negative factors ranging from trade tensions to ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

In the first month of this year, Thailand’s domestic car sales slid 8.2 per cent year-on-year to 71,688 units after more stringent conditions for auto hire purchase approval from financial institutions were introduced, said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, the Federation of Thai Industries’s automotive industry club spokesman.

Total car production in January dropped 12.99 per cent year-on-year to 156,266 units.

Car production for domestic distribution, which accounted for 45.51 per cent of total production, fell 9.46 per cent to 71,123 units. Of these, 31,332 units were passenger cars for domestic sale, down 19.7 per cent. About 37,552 units were one-tonne pickups, up 0.47 per cent.

January’s car production for export, which accounted for 54.49 per cent of total production, also dropped 15.74 per cent to 85,143 units. Of this number, 28,108 units were passenger cars for export, down 19.11 per cent. About 57,035 units were one-tonne pickups for export, down 13.96 per cent.

Completely built-up (CBU) cars made up 76.69 per cent of total production for export in January at 65,295 units, down 19.96 per cent. Export value decreased by 20.94 per cent to Bt37.27 billion in the first month.

Meanwhile, domestic sales of motorcycles in January edged down 2.4 per cent to 145,279 units. Motorcycle production for domestic distribution declined 3.98 per cent to 209,606 units. Export volume inched down 0.74 per cent to 78,033 units in the month.


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