Thailand’s new vehicle market expanded by 8.9% to 113,581 units in December 2018 from 104,302 units in the same month of the previous year, according to data compiled by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The latest available data shows Thai economic growth slowing sharply in the third quarter, to 3.3% from 4.6% in the second quarter, due mainly to declining export activity – particularly China. Domestic consumption remained strong in the country, driven by low interest rates of 1.5% and rising incomes.

Sales of passenger cars fell by 2.7% to 40,315 units in December; while SUV sales jumped by close to 25% to 9,301 units; pickup-based vehicles 58,717 units (+16.4%); and other commercial vehicles 5,248 units (+4.3%).

Toyota’s sales fell by 0.8% to 31,060 units last month, followed by Isuzu with a sales rise of 42.0% to 21,923 units; Honda 13,289 (-8.1%); Mitsubishi Motors 9,276 (+4.1%); Nissan 8,258 (+17.8%); Mazda 7,119(+38.8%); and Ford 5,912 (-12.1%).

Overall vehicle sales in 2018 increased by 19.5% to 1,041,739 units compared with 871,650 units in 2017.

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