Toyota Motor Thailand said it expected the overall Thai vehicle market to recover strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, with overall sales forecast to rise by between 7% and 14% to 850,000–900,000 units in 2021.

The country's leading vehicle manufacturer released its forecast just days after the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) announced a much gloomier outlook for this year – forecasting a more than 5% sales decline to 750,000 units after declining by more than 21% to 792,146 units in 2020. 

Toyota Motor has set itself even more ambitious sales target for 2021 after posting a domestic sales drop of 26.5% to 244,316 units and an 18.7% decline in exports to 215,277 units in 2020. 

The automaker is targeting sales to grow by between 15% and 23% to between 280,000 and 300,000 in Thailand this year, with its environment-friendly campaign set to play an important role in stimulating consumer purchases.

Toyota Motor Thailand president Noriaki Yamashita said battery-powered and hybrid vehicles will play an increasingly prominent part of its marketing campaigns and sales mix, as the automaker moves towards its goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by 2050 compared with 2010 levels.

Yamashita added: "We expect a bright future will start from now on. We believe the situation will get better," despite the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus in recent weeks.