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New vehicle sales in Thailand increased by over 13% to 101,429 units in December, from 89,504 units in the same month of last year, according to data released by the Federation of Thai Industries.

An improved market performance had been widely anticipated, with the government scheduled to introduce a new excise tax structure at the end of last year based on emissions and fuel-efficiency. Buyers brought sales forward last month in anticipation of higher prices of popular pickup-based vehicles and large-engined passenger vehicles such as SUVs.

Sales of pickup-based passenger vehicles jumped by 42% to 69,063 units last month, while SUV sales surged by 37% to 69,063 units.

Full-year sales fell by 9.3% to 799,592 units in 2015 from 881,832 units in 2014.

The FTI expects the vehicle market to decline further this year, by up to 6%, which would make 2016 the fourth consecutive yearly decline since peaking at over 1.4 million units in 2012. 

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By GlobalData