The Thai pick-up truck market declined 23.2% to 25,260 units in June compared with 32,904 units a year earlier, according to data released by Toyota Motor Thailand - the country's dominant automotive company.

The sharp drop in June eroded gains made earlier in the year, with first-half sales declining by 0.73% to 181,191 units - including pick-up truck-derived passenger vehicles (PPVs). On average, pick-up trucks account for roughly two thirds of total vehicle sales in Thailand.

Toyota cited a sharp rise in fuel prices, particularly diesel which now costs around THB45 per litre (US$1.34), as one of the main reasons for declining pick-up truck purchases. The company suggests that buyers are turning increasingly towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, including the growing range of biofuel-compatible models.

Toyota sold 11,589 pick-up trucks in June, down by 25.9% compared with 15,643 units sold a year earlier. Isuzu sales fell by 4.3% to 9,669 units, from 10,096 units; and Mitsubishi by 34% to 1,333 units, from 2,021 units a year earlier.

In the first six months of the year, Toyota sold 74,569 pick-up-based vehicles, followed by Isuzu with 67,445 units; Nissan 13,856; Mitsubishi 11,908; Chevrolet 5,379; Mazda 4,422; and Ford with 4,270 units. India's Tata Motors, which began selling pickup trucks in May, has sold 42 units year-to-date.

Tony Pugliese