Thailand's new vehicle market expanded by 13.1% to 68,551 units in October compared with 60,634 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The vehicle market continues to recover 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.

Last month's market growth fell short of industry expectations, particularly given the strong economic growth seen in recent months. Third quarter GDP growth came in at 4.3%, up from 3.7% in the second quarter and 3.3% in the first quarter.

The FTI's Surapong Paisitpatanapong said last months floods in the country's north eastern and southern regions likely affected overall market activity.

He hoped this month's Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok will help bring buyers back into the market.

Toyota sales fell by 1.6% to 21,197 units last month while its key competitors continued to gain ground, including Isuzu which reported a 6.9% sales rise to 12,080 units; Honda 9,666 units (+19.2%); Mitsubishi 5,579 units (+39.8%); Nissan 4,610 units (+43.5%); and Ford 4,421 (+37.9%).

Sales of passenger cars increased by over 24% to 28,740 units last month while SUV sales jumped by over 19.1% to 3,580 units, pickup trucks accounted for 32,570 units (+6.7%) and other commercial vehicles 3,661 units (-8.1%).

Vehicle sales in the first 10 months of the year were 11.7% higher at 689,266 units compared with 617,159 units sold in the same period of last year

Despite weaker than expected sales in October, the FTI has raised its full year sales forecast to 850,000 units from 830,000 forecast earlier in the year. 

Vehicle production in the country increased by 1.5% to 163,487 units in October and by 0.2% to 1.64m units year to date

Exports fell 12% to 90,838 units last month and 6.3% to 940,820 units year to date reflecting mainly weaker demand in the Middle East.