View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
May 21, 2020

Thai sales plunge 65% in April

Thailand's new vehicle market plunged by 65% to 30,109 units in April 2020 from strong year earlier sales of units 86,076 units, according to wholesale data compiled by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

By bcusack

Thailand's new vehicle market plunged by 65% to 30,109 units in April 2020 from strong year earlier sales of units 86,076 units, according to wholesale data compiled by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

This followed a 42% drop in March and shows the full effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy.

The Thai government began to impose social restrictions and closed down parts of the country on 24 March with April being the first full month of the lockdown. 

Sales of pickup based vehicles fell by over 59% to 16,733 units in April while passenger car sales declined by almost 75% to 8,830 units and SUV sales were 65% lower at 2,293 units.

Sales of commercial vehicles, excluding pickup based vehicles, fell by almost 34% to 2,253 units.

Toyota reported a 59% plunge in sales to 11,053 units last month, according to separate sources, while Isuzu sales dropped by over 55% to 6,865 units, Honda 2,648 units (-77%), Mitsubishi Motors 2,019 (-70%), Nissan 1,804 units (-62%), Ford 1,207 (-73%), MG 1,156 (-48%) and Mazda 1,012 units (-83%).

Total vehicle sales in the first four months of the year were down by 34.2% at 230,173 units from 349,625 units in the same period of 2019.

The FTI cut its full year sales forecast to around 600,000 units for 2020 from a previous forecast of 950,000 units to reflect the deepening recession in the country.

This compared with 1,007,000 sales in 2019.

Vehicle production in the country fell to a 30 year low of 24,711 units in April, down by almost 84% on the 150,242 units produced in April 2019, reflecting weak domestic and overseas demand.

Production for export fell almost 82% to 13,713 units.

The federation warned full year output could drop below 1m units, or around half last year's level.

The Thai economy contracted by 1.8% year on year in the first quarter after growing by just 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019, with the global COVID-19 pandemic having a significant impact on both domestic consumption and exports. 

Worse is expected in the second quarter, given the economic and social lockdowns both at home and in key overseas markets.

Economists expected Thai GDP would contract by around 12% in the second quarter and by 6%-8% over the full year.

Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.5% in May to help support domestic consumption while the government announced a stimulus package worth close to 15% of GDP to help underpin the economy this year.

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every quarter.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Auto