The Bangkok Post reports that a major overhaul of excise tax collection on automobiles later this year may include the merging of four-door double cabs and PPV (passenger pickup vehicle) categories into those of passenger cars.

The report says that this could spark a 'dramatic increase in sales of the pickup-based vehicles, as consumers would anticipate significantly higher retail prices after the grace period of probably two years given to manufacturers to adjust their plans'.

Currently, double-cabs are subject to a 12% rate and PPVs 18%. It has been said that the department believes that such vehicles are being used as ordinary cars and should face the same rates as cars, which range from 35% to 48%, depending on engine displacement.

The report adds that in the past, Ford successfully lobbied the government for the special double-cab category.

Ford is awaiting a tax ruling on the pick-up body featuring rear-access panels used for both the Ranger and its Mazda Fighter cousin.

Thailand has the world's second largest pick-up market (after the US), partly as a result of their favourable taxation position. It has also developed as a regional production base for pick-ups.

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