Last year, domestic auto sales exceeded the 1-million-unit mark in Thailand for the third time ever, and the market is also expected to maintain the same level of performance in 2019, according to Toyota Motor Thailand Co Ltd (TMT).
Thailand’s auto industry has enjoyed a fruitful year in 2018, with total sales rising by 19 per cent to 1.039 million units, said Michinobu Sugata, TMT president.
“Overall, Thailand’s automotive sales last year totaled at 1,039,158 units, which is a 19-per cent increase compared to the previous year, thanks to various stimulating economic measures by the Thai government that eventually contributed to the GDP growth of 4.2 per cent. In addition, this is the third time for the industry to hit over 1 million in the history of the Thai automotive market,” he told local and international media at a Bangkok press conference.
“We expect that the Thai automotive industry will maintain the 1-million-unit level as long as the current favorable conditions continue in Thailand, such as government spending to stimulate investment from the private sector and the introduction of new models by various carmakers,” he added.
Last year Toyota was the top auto company in Thailand, with sales of 315,113 units, a surge of 31.2 per cent over 2017. Isuzu was second with 177,864 units (10.8 per cent increase) and Honda was third with 128,290 units (0.4 per cent increase).
It was also the largest exporter from the Kingdom last year, with over Bt273 billion worth of automobiles and parts being shipped out. Export value is expected to drop slightly to Bt256 billion in 2019 due to “economic challenges in the Middle East, Central and South America.”
Toyota produced a total of 588,939 vehicles in Thailand last year, equivalent to a growth of 12.5 per cent. Total production in 2019 is projected at 577,000 units, down by 2 per cent compared to 2018.