By THE NATION
“This signals that the lowest point for automotive manufacturing has passed, as in April we only produced 24,711 vehicles, which is considered the lowest in 30 years due to the Covid-19 situation that has affected automotive manufacturers and markets globally,” said Surapong Pisitpattanapong, vice president and spokesman of the club.
“The production volume in May, although still low compared to the same period last year, has jumped 126.76 per cent from April, thanks to several factories that have resumed their manufacturing lines after almost two months of shutting down.”
Surapong predicted that if the Covid-19 situation were resolved by September, Thailand will have average production volume of 60,000 vehicle per month in the rest seven months of the year, totalling 420,000 vehicles.
“Combined with the 534,428 vehicles that were produced so far, the annual production volume should stand at around 900,000 vehicles, which is close to the estimated target of 1 million to 1.4 million vehicles,” he said. “In the best-case scenario, domestic factories must be able to produce at least 140,000 vehicles per month until the year-end in order to reach the 1.4 million vehicles annual target. However, this scenario is extremely unlikely considering the current economy.”
Surapong added that although the Covid-19 situation in Thailand is improving, the situation is escalating overseas which will impact automobile export markets. “Production for export in May stands at 35,965 vehicles, decreasing 61.93 per cent year on year, while the actual export volume stands at 29,894 vehicles, decreasing 68.64 per cent year on year,” he added.
“Meanwhile, production for domestic sales in May was 20,070 vehicles, also down 76.89 per cent year on year, due to sellers still having cars in showrooms,” added Surapong.
“Total domestic sales in May were 40,418 vehicles, decreasing 54.12 per cent year on year but increasing 34.24 per cent from April, thanks to the improving Covid-19 situation. We expect that total sales in 2020 will be in the range of 500,000 to 700,000 vehicles, depending on how fast the Covid-19 situation resolves.”