Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thai diesel pickup truck sales start to revive

SANTAN SANTIVIMOLNAT

The local pickup truck market showed signs of improvement last month as diesel prices began to fall significantly from record levels in July.

Sales including passenger pickup vehicles (PPV) in August reached 24,739 units, or 3,449 units more than in July but down 28.6% from 34,659 units in August last year, according to preliminary industry figures compiled by Toyota Motor Thailand Co.

The market began shrinking in May when sales fell to 29,133 units from 34,304 units in April, falling further to 25,265 units in June and 21,290 in July.

The continued reduction in the price of diesel, which peaked above 44 baht a litre in July, was the key factor behind the improved pickup market in August.

Diesel is now selling for 31.84 baht a litre in Greater Bangkok, reflecting the sharp drop in global oil prices.

Toyota said total pickup sales in the eight months to August dropped 8.7% year-on-year to 227,917 units. Toyota led the market during the period with 94,856 units sold, up 3.9% year-on-year. Second-ranked Isuzu sold 85,734 units, up 19%, and Nissan, sold 16,732 units, down 8.9%.

Mitsubishi sold 13,545 units, up 3%, Chevrolet 6,405 units (down 2%), Mazda 5,302 units (down 22%), Ford 5,251 units (down 22%) and the Indian newcomer Tata only 92 of its budget pickups.

For the PPV market, sales in the first eight months totalled 13,537 units, up 8.3% year-on-year, led by Toyota, which recorded 4.1% growth to 8,924 units.

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