Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thailand : Local sales, exports drive output up 20% in first half

Toyota Vios : Thailand best selling car

BANGKOK, July 30,2008 - Local production of automobiles, excluding motorcycles, soared 20% year-on-year to 719,487 units in the first six months, driven by continued increases in exports and domestic sales, according to Surapong Phaisitpattanapong, spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries' automobile industry club.

The growth of Thai-built vehicle exports remained high, especially cars and pickup trucks, which resulted in an all-time increase in vehicle production.

Vehicle exports from January to June surged 25.6% year-on-year to 385,870 units.

Mr Surapong said local sales had climbed steadily since January thanks to the windfall 5% excise-tax reduction for cars running on the E20 fuel, six baht per litre cheaper than the premium petrol.

As a result, car sales increased significantly by 32.4% year-on-year to 110,419 units in the first six months, making up 34.35% of industry-wide sales, against 28.5% in 2007.

As well, sales of pickup trucks rose year-on-year in the first three months. The higher diesel price, however, has brought them down since May, especially in June when the sales fell 23.2% from the same month last year.

But combined pickup truck sales in the first six months decreased only slightly, by 0.7%, to 181,888 units, representing 56.5% of nationwide automobile sales, compared with 62.64% in 2007.

Of total vehicle production, car output rose significantly, by 40.2% to 203,148 units in the first six half, while commercial vehicle production rose 13.6% to 516,152 units. Production of pickup trucks, included with commercial vehicles, climbed 13.6% to 506,189 units.

According to Mr Surapong, exports of fully built vehicles reached 385,870 units worth 174.79 billion baht, up 29.2% from the same period last year.

Engine exports rose 94% to 8.92 billion baht while those of assembly kits leapt 38.3% to 67.36 billion and those of spare parts gained 32.2% to 4.50 billion baht.

Mr Surapong said motorcycle sales, which shrank two years ago, started improving this year due to rising incomes in the farm sector on the back of higher food prices and the government's cash injection into the rural areas. Motorcycle sales inched up by 3.7% year-on-year to 879,418 units in the first six months.

However, exports of motorcycle assembly kits dropped 13.1% year-on-year to 713,952 units in the first six months because more countries that used to import kits from Thailand became manufacturing countries.

Sales of fully built motorcycles increased slightly to 75,236 units.

[Source : Bangkok Post, Image courtesy of Toyota Thailand]


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