Industry Ministry promotes second phase of eco-car promotion

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BANGKOK, June 20 – Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said today the ministry plans to promote the second phase of the government’s eco-car promotion policy following the success of the first phase promotion.

Mr Prasert said the move aims to strengthen Thailand’s automotive industry and spare parts manufacturing,

A committee will be set up next week to consider benefits and related matters for auto producers. The minister noted the official announcement of the eco-car investment promotion and issuing licences for auto firms should be done within this year.

According to Mr Prasert, the first phase of eco-car production promotion set the target at 500,000 units. About 440,000 units have already been manufactured. He said the second phase has to be soon promoted, for auto companies can prepare for the new phase of production, which should be mid or late next year.

According to the Industry Minister, eco vehicles are in high demand. Some 259,000 units were manufactured last year, while 108,000 units were produced in January-March this year.

Throughout this year, 430,000 units are expected to be manufactured, of which half are intended for domestic sale and the other half for export.

Mr Prasert said the eco-vehicle investment promotion in the second phase will help encourage more automobile exports.

He noted that the eco-car promotion policy since 2007 has helped increase investment on eco-car production to around 585,000 units per year, including the manufacturing of engines and spare parts, which has so far accounted for over Bt50 billion, with an export value more than Bt67.8 billion, and created employment in the country for 12,000 workers.

As a result of the government’s fist-car scheme and the popularity of small vehicles, the business of eco-car manufacturing has grown 100 per cent per year, with some vehicle units also being exported to ASEAN countries, Japan and United Arab Emirates.