The Xinhua News Agency reports that sales of new vehicles in Thailand increased by 37.8% to 409,362 units at the end of last year, the highest figure since 1997, citing Toyota Motor Thailand as source. The report indicates that sales were particularly strong in December and analysts said that pent-up demand for vehicles, low interest rates, the introduction of new models and a very competitive environment for car financing all played a role in 2002’s growth.