Thailand’s new vehicle market continued its steep decline in April with sales falling by over 26% to 54,085 units from the already depressed 73,242 units sold in the same month of last year, according to data collected by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Cumulative four month sales fell by more than 15% to 251,845 vehicles as Thai consumers struggled with heavy debts and depressed commodity prices continued to affect rural incomes.

Exports of built up vehicles increased by close to 18% to 82,130 units with strong growth in passenger car shipments to markets in Europe and North America more than offsetting sluggish overseas demand for pickup trucks. 

Cumulative four month exports increased by 13.6% to 410,362 units – worth around THB186bn (US$5.5bn).

Vehicle production fell by 2.2% year on year to 123,968 units in April but was 0.7% higher at 648,508 units in the first four months of the year.