Toyota Motor Thailand reduced this year’s sales volume to 450,000 units, down from the company’s original target at 500,000 units.
Kyoichi Tanada, president of Toyota Motor Thailand, said the adjustment was because the company sold about 230,000 units in the first half of this year, down 1.6 percent from the same period last year. However, the firm could still have the biggest market share at 32 percent, he said.
From January through June, Thailand’s total car sales volume reached around 740,000 units, a 22-percent increase year-on-year, as a result of deliveries of cars booked under last year’s ‘first-car buyer’ scheme and the promotional campaigns of automobile manufacturers this year.
According to Toyota Motor, Kyoichi said this year’s car sale volume is expected at 1.3 million units, a decrease of 9.5 percent year-on-year, of which 620,000 units are forecast to be sedans and 680,000 to be vehicles for commercial purpose.
The company set a target of exporting 438,000 vehicles this year, worth Bt185 billion, and Bt66 billion in spare parts, making the 2013 total export value to reach Bt251 billion. The target was higher than previously projected where the number of exported cars expected at 412,000 units, worth Bt168 billion, and the value of exported spare parts to Bt70 billion, totaling Bt238 billion.
The president said the new Toyota Vios will be exported in August, the first sedan to be exported to ASEAN.
Despite the lower sales volume this year, Thailand’s auto market is still growing compared to the past four years. Kyoichi noted that once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) takes effect in 2015 and Thailand’s new excise tax scheme is applied in accordance with carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, the sales volume in the next two years will reach more than 1.2 million units.
Toyota Motor Thailand’s new factory at Gateway City Industrial Estate in eastern Thailand will start operating in this year’s third quarter, which will make the company’s production capacity reach 300,000 units/year from currently 220,000/year. The production ratio for export and domestic sale will also be adjusted from 45:55 to 50:50.
Kyoichi noted that factors affecting the business will be the currency exchange rate, oil prices, and reserved power which impacts production capacity.