Thailand's new vehicle market continued to expand in September with sales rising by 14.3% to 88,706 units from 77,592 units in the same month of last year, according to data compiled by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Strong domestic economic growth continued to drive the vehicle market forward with the latest data showing second quarter GDP growth at 4.6% year on year, just slightly down from 4.9% in Q1.

Sales of passenger cars rose by 15.6% to 34,086 units in September while SUV volume fell 14.3% to 6,991 units, pickup based vehicles jumped 13.8% to 43,205 and other commercial vehicles' sales soared 121.9% to 4,424. 

Toyota's sales jumped by more than 39% to 28,760 units last month while Isuzu volume fell by over 22% to 13,030 units. Honda at 11,282 (+6.1%); Mitsubishi 7,128 (+28.0%); Ford 6,029 (+22.1%); Mazda 5,880 (+32.7%); and Nissan 6,266 (+20.9%) all booked healthy rises.

In the last year, most owners of vehicles bought under the previous government's first time buyer incentive programme in 2012 and 2013 have been able to claim tax rebates equivalent to up to 10% of the purchase cost of their vehicles after the expiry of a five-year lock-in period. This has also helped fuel new vehicle sales over the last year.

Overall sales in the first nine months of the year increased by just over 20% to 746,584 units compared with 620,708 at this stage a year ago.

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