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THAILAND: Vehicle production for domestic market turns down

By just-auto.com editorial team | 22 October 2007

Weak consumer confidence and rising fuel prices caused Thai car and pickup truck production for the domestic market to shrink in the first nine months of this year, an industry official said.

Surapong Phaisitpattanapong, spokesman for Federation of Thai Industries' automobile industry club, told the Bangkok Post that total car production in the nine months to Sept 30 increased by 3.24% year-on-year to 232,787 units.

Of the total, 104,207 were produced for export, rising 16.78%. Total pickup truck production for the period rose by 25.4% to 391,688 units.

However, total car production for domestic sales in the first nine months dropped by 5.63% year-on-year to 128,580 units, while pickup truck production for local sales fell by 15.3% to 291,593 units.

Industry-wide vehicle production in the first nine months was up 3.74% year-on-year to 933,406 units, he said. Of the total, 495,895 were produced for export, up 23.4%, while the remaining 437,511 units were produced for domestic market, down 12.14%.

On the export side, Thailand shipped 493,514 fully built vehicles from January to September, up 23.9% from the same period last year, with the total export value rising 22.1% to 217 billion baht.

Rising fuel prices would hurt vehicle sales and the production cost of automobile manufacturers, Surapong said.

Weak consumer confidence in the economy and politics still delayed decisions to buy new vehicles, but the FTI hoped more promotional campaigns and the year-end motor expo