Thailand's new vehicle market expanded by 6.8% year-on-year to 67,962 units in August, compared with 63,609 units a year earlier, according to data released by The Federation Of Thai Industries.

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.

Toyota's sales fell by over 24% to 16,010 units last month while its key competitors strengthened, including Isuzu which reported a 16.6% sales increase to 12,780 units, Honda 10,710 units (+11.3%), Mitsubishi 5,500 units (+33.8%); Nissan 4,820 units (+162%), and Ford 4,820 (+21.2%).

Sales in the first eight months of the year were 10.2% higher at 543,120 units, compared with 492,870 units in the same period of last year, helped by low interest rates and the launch of new passenger vehicle models. 

The economy has also strengthened this year with GDP expanding by 3.7% in the second quarter after growing 3.3% in the first quarter.

Sales of passenger cars jumped 20.7% to 215,150 units in the eight month period and pickup truck sales increased by 8.6% to 228,920 units. SUV sales were up by just 0.7% at 33,630 units.

Vehicle production rose by 13.5% to 177,410 units in August but was 1.2% lower at 1.29m units in the first eight due to weak overseas demand.

Exports fell by 7.5% to 729,330 units year to date, reflecting sharply lower shipments to the Middle East.