Car production tumbles in virus-hit first half
Thailand’s total auto production in the first half of 2020 fell 43.1 percent year-on-year to 606,132 units, mainly due to government foreclosure measures and low purchasing power of buyers.
The pandemic remains a concern, but automakers have been hoping for better sales since the lockdown was relaxed, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesperson for the FTI automobile club, said production of cars for sale in the domestic market over the past six months fell 48.9% to 259,754 units, while manufacturing for export had fallen 37.8% to 346,378 units.
In June alone, auto production fell 58.5% to 71,704 units.
“The FTI is concerned that a second Covid-19 outbreak could occur, dealing a blow to people’s purchasing power and causing factories to close again,” Surapong said.
Car sales in Thailand in the first half of this year fell 37.2% year-on-year to 328,604 units. In June, the volume fell 32.6% to 58,013 units.
“But car sales in June were up 43.5% from May, thanks to the government easing further lockdowns,” Surapong said.
The FTI said export car sales in the first half of the year fell 37.4 percent year-on-year to 350,550 units, valued at 187.9 billion baht, a decrease of 34%.
The club expects the Thai auto trend to pick up in the next six months as many companies have been allowed to resume operations and the government prepares to spend billions of baht to support the economy.
The FTI expects full-year car production to reach 1.3 to 1.4 million units. But success will depend on the Covid-19 situation.
“The FTI estimates that domestic car sales will reach 700,000 units and exports 700,000 units, in part due to the positive sign of bookings at the Bangkok auto show which boosted sales,” Surapong said. .
The 12 days of the Bangkok International Motor Show will end this Sunday.
The event was also affected by the pandemic, as it was postponed from its scheduled start in late March.