February auto production up 36 per cent

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BANGKOK, March 19 – Thailand’s auto production in February increased 36 per cent year-on-year, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Automotive Industry Club.

Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpattanapong said auto output last month reached about 220,000 units. However, compared to January, the figure was lower by 2.8 per cent due to fewer working days in February.

During the first two months, the country manufactured some 465,000 vehicles, a 50 per cent increase year-on-year.

Regarding the number of autos produced for export, 90,000 were built last month alone, or 39 per cent of total output, an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year.

Export output in the first two months reached over 190,000 units, 40 per cent of total production, an increase of 33 per cent compared to the same period last year.

At a related figure, auto production volume for domestic sales last month took up 60 per cent of total production of almost 140,000 units, a 55 per cent increase year-on-year.

In January-February, production for the domestic market reached 275,000 units, 59 per cent of total output, which was 65 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Mr Surapong said car dealers have reported that new car owners having bought their vehicles under the government’s first-time carbuyers scheme have asked to postpone picking up their new vehicles in February and this month, causing dealer agencies to face a lack of temporary parking spaces and interest burden that the agents have to pay financial institutions in advance.

He said in May the figure can be estimated for how many first car owners will disclaim their car reservations under the scheme. Car manufacturers will project such figure to further re-calculate in their production plan.

The Automotive Industry Club set total auto production this year at least 2.5 million units.