Sales of pickups in Thailand - the second biggest market after the US for pickups due to their favourable tax treatment - have been hit by rising fuel prices, especially diesel.

A report in the Bangkok Post says that sles of pickup trucks including passenger pickup vehicles (PPV) in May dipped 4.3% year-on-year to 29,133 units.

Isuzu was the only brand to make gains, selling 11,836 pickup trucks, up 29% from a year earlier. Toyota sold 11,456 units, down 13.2%. Nissan sales fell 36.8% to 2,018 units.

Among other brands, Ford sold 777 units, down 31.5%; Mazda sold 746 units, down 27.4%; Chevrolet sold 716 units, down 19.3%; and Mitsubishi sold 1,565 units, down 14.6%. Newcomer Tata of India reported May sales of 19 units.

However, cumulative pickup truck sales in 2008 were still up 4.3% year-on-year to 156,623 units. Toyota accounted for 62,980 units, remaining the market leader, followed by Isuzu with 57,776.

However, total automobile sales in May were up by 6.9% to 54,910 units.

Total passenger car sales in May reached 21,255 units, up 29.4% year-on-year, while the five-month total of 89,937 was up 13.4% year-on-year.

Total automobile sales including pickups in the last five months reached 271,367 units, up 13.4% year-on-year. Toyota remained the leader overall with 113,562 units, up 12.8% year-on-year, followed by Isuzu at 60,958 units, up 9.3%, and Honda with 35,166 units, up 34.5%.