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24 June 2009

Weak economy blamed for 33% slump in Thai car output

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A sharp decline in sales of automobiles and motorcycles during the first five months this year has forced producers to reduce their manufacturing targets during 2009, state news agency TNA reported, quoting an industry source.

Auto producers in Thailand have decided to cut their planned production by another 140,000 units to 940,000 units, down 32.57 percent from last year, said Piangjai Kaewsuwan, chair of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Automotive Industry Group.

Of the total revised auto production, 430,000 units will be for domestic sales and the rest of 510,000 units will be for exports, she said.

Negative factors which have forced auto makers to revise down production are current global economic slump along with falling local agricultural prices and arrivals of foreign tourists, said Piangjai.

The government is awaiting an approved budget to stimulate the economy to boost confidence.

Manufacturers of motorcycles have also reduced production this year to 1,533,000 units, down 124,000 units from the earlier projection and from last year’s production of 1,907,000 units. Production for domestic sales will be 1,411,000 units and the remaining122,000 units are for export.

During the first five months this year, auto sales stood at 188,026 units, down 30.7 percent from the same period of 2008, while sales of motorcycles were 597,024 units, a decline of 15.81 percent, according to Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman of the Automotive Industry Group.


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