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Vehicle output tipped for 2.9% rise this year


THAILAND’S CAR production is forecast to continue accelerating this year – by 2.9 per cent to two million units, according to the Federation of Thai Industries.

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Surapong Paisitpattanapong, spokesman of the FTI’s Automotive Industry Club, said yesterday that of the targeted production, 60 per cent or 1.2 million cars will be sold overseas.
Motorcycles are projected to increase 15.4 per cent to 2.1 million units this year, of which 300,000 units will be for exports and 1.8 million for the local market. 
The local distribution of motorbikes is estimated to jump 18.3 per cent in 2017.
In December, car production slid 11.1 per cent on year and 20.5 per cent on month to 135,792 units, the lowest in 19 months. 
The total number of cars made for exports fell 6.1 per cent on year to 75,740 units or 55.8 per cent of total car production in December. 
Local sales dropped 16.6 per cent to 60,052 units or 44.2 per cent of December’s production. 
However, total cars produced edged up 1.6 per cent to 1.94 million units for the whole of 2016.
Passenger cars produced last year climbed 5.6 per cent to 811,805 units or 41.8 per cent of total car production. 
One-tonne pickup trucks manufactured throughout 2016 slipped 1.2 per cent to 1.1 million units or 56.7 per cent of total car production.
Due to deals made during the Motor Expo and incentives, December’s car sales surged 34.1 per cent from a month earlier but, due to the effect of car purchases in late 2015 before tax restructuring in early 2016, they slumped 14.4 per cent year-on-year.
In December, car exports inched down 0.6 per cent on year to 86,120 units due mainly to economic slowdowns in Thailand’s trading partners extending to the Middle East, Africa, Central America and South America. 
Total car exports dipped 0.1 per cent on year to Bt46.37 billion.
In December, the Thai Industries Sentiment Index rallied for the fourth month to 88.5 points, the highest in 22 months. November was 87.6, said Chen Namchaisiri, chairman of the FTI.
The December survey was based on the purchase orders, sales, production and performance of 1,170 businesses in 45 industries. 
Tax measures and promotions were cited for the index’s rise, while persistent rains and floods in the south wreaked havoc with transport.
The three-month index fell to 100.0 from 102.0 in November, reflecting businesses’ concerns over raw material prices, wage increases, crude oil prices, exchange-rate fluctuations and the outlook for the global economy.
Businesses urged the government to offer financial assistance to flood-hit southern operators and extend the promotional privileges for machinery and equipment, the survey said. 
They also need the state’s promotion of a Thai operators’ network in the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) and acceleration of budget expenditures under the stimulus measures for investment in small projects in the regions, the survey said.
 

Published : January 18, 2017

By : THE NATION