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22 May 2009

Thai car exports down 46% in April

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Thailand's auto exports fell 45.91 percent year-on-year in April as demand from overseas continued to decline, AFP quoted a senior industry figure as saying Thursday.

Thailand exported 28,663 units in April, the sixth consecutive month that shipments have fallen, said Adisak Rohitsune, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Export value reached 13.3 billion baht ($374.65 million), down 44.29 percent. "Exports continued their fall from late last year because demand for new cars has declined in every (international) market including Australia, Europe and Asia," Adisak said.

The dramatic fall in business for both domestic and export auto sectors has forced manufacturers to drastically cut their production since the beginning of the year.

"The production capacity is running at about 50 percent now," Adisak said. Last month the FTI said it had hoped figures would improve in April, but had warned its prediction for total output for the year would likely be revised downwards.

The federation has predicted that overseas shipments for 2009 will be down 25 percent. Industry groups have forecast that domestic sales will likely slip 15 percent this year. Thailand has positioned itself as a key regional production base for foreign automakers, but the industry has been hard hit by the global economic crisis.









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