Thai auto production rises to 4-month high in January


BANGKOK, Feb 15 — Thailand’s automobile production in January significantly increased to 140,404 units, marking the highest level in the past four months since the megaflood submerged a number of provinces in October, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpattanapong announced on Wednesday that January’s figure was up 41.21 per cent from December but fell by 3.98 per cent year-on-year.

Last year’s devastating flood in the central provinces, where many industrial estates are located, led to a shortage of parts to be supplied to automobile assembly plants and slashed the country’s auto production.

The rise was due to to higher imports of auto parts from other countries in January as plants in the country which were earlier hit by the flooding, have not yet been able to resume operation.

Meanwhile, 64,022 car units were manufactured for export, or 45.6 per cent of overall production, Mr Surapong said, explaining that the percentage dropped by 18.98 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Domestic car sales in the first month of this year totalled 76,246 units, a 11.47 per cent increase year-on-year, resulting from higher auto production for domestic sales which climbed to 76,382 units, up from December last year.

Last month alone, automakers delivered 26,054 passenger cars and 47,377 one-tonne pick-up trucks to customers who had earlier reserved their orders.

In a related development, the FTI projected that a number of automobiles manufactured from February to April will grow to 465,266 units, up 12.95 per cent compared to the output in February to April 2011 when auto production stood at 411,926 units.

Overall auto production this year is targeted at 2.1 million units, the spokesman said.