New vehicle sales in Thailand fell by 4.1% year on year to 67,910 units in October – the slowest rate of decline in the last two years, reflecting mainly very low year-earlier volumes. 

The data, released by the Federation of Thai Industries, points to a market that is close to bottoming out after two years of sharp declines. The federation expects full year sales to come in at around 780,000 this year, compared with peak volumes of 1.44m units in 2012 – which at the time were boosted by government incentives for first-time buyers.

Sales in the first 10 months of 2015 fell by 13.6% to 621,742 units but volumes in the final two months of the year could be lifted by expected changes to local excise tax rates scheduled for the end of the year.

Vehicle production in the country increased by 3.6% to 165,381 units in October and by 1.8% to 1,597,140 units year to date, while exports of built up vehicles were up by 19% at 111,229 units last month and by 9% at 1,016,595 year to date.