New vehicle sales in Thailand fell by 13% to 64,462 units in October 2021 from 74,114 units in the same month of last year, according to wholesale data compiled by the Federation of Thai Industries.

The market is struggling to recover from the social and business restrictions introduced to contain the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which the government began to ease in September. GDP declined by 0.3% year-on-year in the third quarter after rebounding by 7.6% in the second quarter, with continued strong export growth offset by a 3.2% drop in private consumption.

The government has introduced measures to help stimulate the domestic economy, including soft loans and tax relief for small and medium companies, funding for local infrastructure, poverty relief and job creation programmes. Bank of Thailand also left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a historic low of 0.5% at its November meeting.

Vehicle sales in the first ten months of the year were down by 3.4% at 596,393 units from 617,333 units a year earlier, with a strong second-quarter rebound eroded by declining sales since July.

The FTI said it is optimistic that the market will rebound in the final months of the year, as the economy recovers from the earlier covid-related restrictions. The continued easing of border restrictions for international tourists will be a major boost for the economy over the next year.

The Bangkok Motor Show scheduled to be held at the end of November will likely also stimulate consumer interest inn the short term.

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By GlobalData

Vehicle production increased by 3.3% to 154,038 units in October and by almost 23% to 1,365,984 units in the first ten months of the year, despite the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors.

Vehicle exports increased by over 14% to 81,577 units in October and by 28% to 759,058 units in the first ten months of the year. The export value increased by almost 41% to THB663bn year-to-date.