Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vehicle sales in Thailand to take a hit


16 July, 2007

BY OUR AUTOMOBILE CORRESPONDENT
Toyota Motor Thailand Co. expects vehicle sales in Thailand to drop as much as 4.7 per cent from last year to 650,000 units in 2007.

According to the company, sales of passenger cars for the full year were estimated at 185,000 units, down 3.6 per cent from last year. Meanwhile, sales of commercial vehicles may fall by 5.2 per cent to 465,000 units.

In keeping with these projections, Toyota has revised its own vehicle sales target this year to 280,000 units, a decline of 3.2 per cent from 2006. However, Toyota expects its market share to remain steady at around 43 per cent. Toyota is also optimistic that the market will pick up next year by 3-5 percent.

The industry began with an 18.7 per cent year-on-year drop in sales in the first quarter of 2007 and improved in the second quarter when the sales dropped only 6.4 per cent from the same period last year. A report added that total automobile sales in the first seven months were 343,672 units, down 10.8 per cent from the same period last year. Passenger car sales fell 9.4 per cent to 98,515 units while commercial vehicle sales dipped 11.4 per cent to 245,157 units.

This has resulted in Toyota selling fewer vehicles from January to July 2007, down 5.4 per cent to 151,533 units, but increased its market share in the country to 44.1 per cent for the period.

To add to its woes, Toyota's exports were hit hard by the baht's appreciation. According to a report, between January and July 2007, Toyota shipped 114,829 vehicles, only a 1 per cent increase, with a value of 47.6 billion baht, a 7 per cent decrease from the same period last year.