Thailand to produce 2 million cars by year-end

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BANGKOK, Sept 19 – Thailand is expected to manufacture 2.2 million automobiles and pickup trucks and 2.5 million motorcycles this year.

Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpatanapong said a celebration of producing 2 million cars/year will be held November 30.

He said the club is confident the auto industry will continue to grow. If expansion continues according to plan for the next five years, Thailand will have a production capacity of 3 million units/year and the country will become one of the world’s top ten car manufacturers.

In August, automobile sales volume reached almost 130,000 units, or about 63 per cent increase year-on-year. However, the figure was 16 per cent less than that of July.

Mr Surapong said the higher sales volume was because car producers increased their production output for domestic sales more than for export in order to hand over new cars to buyers under the government’s ‘first car’ scheme.

The total car manufacturing figure in August stood at about 210,000 units, a number which has been continuous for the fourth consecutive month. Production capacity last month increased around 37 per cent year-on-year, but lowered from July this year at about one per cent.

From January-August, the total car sales volume reached over 860,000 units, or a growth of 48 per cent year-on-year.

Total production capacity during the first eight months reached more than 1.4 million units, an increase of 33 per cent compared to the same period last year. Of that figure, about 830,000 units were for domestic orders and the remaining 630,000 units were for export.

Mr Surapong believes that the auto industry next year will still see a bright future, particularly exports of auto parts. The first eight months of this year saw a growth of the auto and auto parts industry of 21 per cent, he said.