Thailand's new vehicle market continued to rebound strongly in March, with sales rising by 16.7% to 84,801 units from weak year earlier sales of 72,646 units, according to data released by the Federation of Thai Industries.

The country's vehicle market looks to be finally recovering from four straight years of decline which culminated in a 4% drop to 768,788 units last year from peak levels of 1.43m units in 2012.

The market last month was driven by strong demand for passenger vehicles, helped by new models and the end of the lock up period for tax rebates for those who bought under the government's first time buyer scheme over five years ago. 

First quarter sales increased by almost 16% to 210,490 units from 181,560 units in the same period of last year.

At the beginning of the year the federation forecast full year sales to rise by around 4% to 800,000 units but it may revise upwards these estimates following the market's strong first quarter performance.