The Thai new vehicle market expanded by 2.6% to 63,609 units in August, from 61,991 units a year earlier, according to data released by The Federation Of Thai Industries (FTI).

The local vehicle market is showing good signs of recovery after three years of sharp declines, reflecting a pick-up in overall domestic economic activity and heightened activity on the part of the vehicle manufacturers and dealers.

After a weak first quarter, sales have increased in four of the last five months. Cumulative eight-month sales are now in positive territory, albeit only just, with volumes rising by 0.2% to 492,874 units from 491,963 in the same period of last year.

Vehicle production in August fell by 1.8% year-on-year to 156,337 units, due mainly to 7.7% drop in exports to 94,183 units – reflecting weakening demand in the Middle-East, Africa and Latin America.

Production in the first eight months of the year was up by 3.4% at around 1.3m units while exports rose by just under 1% to 788,161 units.