Thai flood slashes auto production to record low for 151 months


BANGKOK, Dec 22 – Thailand’s auto production in November 2011 hit a record low of 23,695 units for the past 151 months as a result of continuing mega floods, according to Surapong Paisitpatnapong, spokesman of the Automotive Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Not since mid-1999 – more than 12 years ago — has Thailand’s automotive production been so low.

Auto production in November dropped 85 per cent year-on-year, and 52 per cent compared to the previous month.

The flooding situation in the central provinces, where many industrial estates are located, immediately led to a shortage of parts to supply the country’s automobile assembly plants.

Types of vehicles produced in lower quantities included sedans, trucks, pickup trucks and motorcycles.

The overall volume of auto production for the first 11 months only reached some 1,358,000 units, or almost one-tenth of production–a 9.92 per cent decrease year-on-year.

Domestic car sales in November hit a record low for the past 118 months of 26,069 units, 39 per cent down from October and a 67 per cent decrease year-on-year.

Mr Surapong said the auto sales volume had dropped consecutively for two months due to the megafloods. Although some plants reopened in mid-December after floodwaters receded, only partial production operations could resume. There was also a transport problem of spare parts imported from overseas, he added.

However, the auto sales volume for the first 11 months reached over 739,000 units, or a 4.62 per cent increase year-on-year, while the sales volume for motorcycles during the same period stood at more than 1.8 million units, an 11.67 rise compared to the same period last year.

Car production for export in November was recorded at 6,258 units, a 92.14 per cent drop year-on-year, the record low for the past 154 months, and a 88.56-per cent decrease from the previous month.

The export value for cars, engines and spare parts in November was at over Bt14.9 billion, a 69.5 per cent drop from the same period last year.

For 2011’s first 11 months, the export value for cars and spare parts, and motorcycles and spare parts reached Bt530 billion, or a 7.6 drop year-on-year.