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Thailand's vehicle output seen dropping 17% next year

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November 5, 2008

Thailand's vehicle output seen dropping 17% next year
Sluggish global economy resulted from financial crisis in the US is expected to hurt Thailand's automobile production in 2009 as it is projected to drop17.24 percent from this year's level, Thai News Agency quoted a senior industry executive as saying.

Adisak Rohitasune, senior vice president of Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said Thailand's auto exports next year are expected to decline, and combined production is projected to fall to only 1.2 million units, down 250,000 units from this year's 1.45 million. Next year's initial auto production will be similar to actual production in 2007.

In an attempt to cut down expenses, Adisak said Honda will reduce overtime work for its staff as it believes that auto production would slow down in 2009.

Still, forecast for 2009 is better than the Asian financial crisis in 1997 which originated from Thailand as auto production in this country was wiped out 75 per cent that year.

Total exports of cars, motorcycles and engines during the first nine months this year were valued about Bt70 billion, he said.

Luckily, Thailand's auto exports do not depend much on the US market as key importers are Asian countries, Australia, the Middle East and Latin America.

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