Thai auto production in 2010 hits record high

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Thailand’s total auto production in 2010 amounted to 1.64 million units, its highest ever, rising 64.63 per cent from the previous year with record high domestic sales of 800,375 units, or an increase of 45.8 per cent, according to Surapong Paisitpattanapong of the Automobile Club of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Export production in 2010 hit 895,855 vehicles, an increase of 67.27 per cent, the highest since Thailand started exporting cars in 1988.

Auto sales in December 2010 totaled 93,122 units, an increase of 29.2 per cent year-on-year, the highest ever since cars were sold in Thailand.

Sales growth, in particular compact cars and eco-friendly cars, resulted from the success of the Bangkok International Motor Show held in December 2010, rising prices of agricultural goods, tourism and export growth, and greater public confidence.

Export volume in December totaled 71,025 units, an increase of 32.51 per cent.  Higher orders boosted auto output in December 2010 to a total of 137,403 units an increase of 22.99 per cent.

In 2011, it is expected auto output will reach 1.8 million units including one million vehicles for export and 800,000 others for domestic sales and together with about 50,000-60,000 imported cars, domestic car production will hit 860,000-870,000 units.

The main risk factors for this year’s auto industry are high oil prices and currency volatility.  However, lucrative prices of agricultural products will increase purchasing power and the launching of eco-friendly cars from Honda this year and those from Suzuki and Mitsubishi next year will continue to boost purchasing power. (TTN)