The Thai government is laying the groundwork for the introduction of new automotive taxes based on fuel efficiency, as part of its efforts to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Vehicle manufacturers have been consulting with the Ministry of Industry on the issue. In a meeting held on 1 March, Industry Minister Chaiwuti Bannawat reassured representatives from the country’s largest carmakers, Isuzu, Toyota, Mitsubishi and General Motors that, if fuel efficiency levels are improved, taxes could actually be reduced from current levels.
The new tax rates are expected to be announced in April but will not be introduced for at least two years after that. Chaiwuti said the government expects the industry “will be able to adapt within the lead time that will be provided, which will be at least two years from the announcement of the new regulations”.
Vehicle manufacturers are concerned that new taxes may promote the sale of smaller vehicles at the expense of the dominant pickup segment. They are also calling for more lead time to allow them to adapt their product strategies.