Chonburi’s automobile-sales market should improve in the final months of 2020 after a dismal beginning, the province’s top Toyota dealer predicted.
Yongsin Yuwathanon, vice president of Toyota Nakhon Chonburi Co., a dealer covering Chonburi, Rayong, and Trat, said the company’s sales for the entire year are expected to fall 55 percent from 890 vehicles in 2019 to 400 this year.
Toyota – both the parent company and local dealers – began the year expecting a 10 percent sales increase due to continued investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“Previously, we were confident that Chonburi’s car market in 2020 would grow smoothly because Chonburi is part of the EEC project, which will gain advantages from the government’s trillions of baht in investment,” Yongsin said. “However, the pandemic changed everything, especially during the lockdown period. Half of the market disappeared.”
Toyota Motor (Thailand) Co. had projected 2020 sales of 310,000 vehicles. That has since been revised to 255,000, he said.
With the lockdown now over and EEC activity again picking up, Yongsin expects sales to pick up in the final months of the year, driven by the goods-transport industry. The sector has created strong demand for pickup trucks to transport agricultural products, Yongsin said, adding he expects to sell 300 vehicles by year-end.
“The EEC has had a big impact on the economy in the East, especially the sale of pickups, which will grow according to fruits sales and higher fruit prices,” he said, explaining that higher prices for durian and other fruit will give growers more spending power to buy new trucks.