Thailand’s auto production falls 16.19% in May

TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2024

The slump in manufacturing starts a vicious cycle of reduced purchasing power from fewer jobs and reduced shifts in auto factories

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)’s Automotive Industry Club announced on Tuesday that Thailand's auto production in the month of May had dropped by 16.19% year on year to 126,161 vehicles.

Surapong Paisitpattanapong, vice president of the FTI’s auto club, said the drop in production in May compared to last year was mainly attributed to fewer pick-up trucks and sedans manufactured for the local market.

From January to May this year, a total of 644,951 vehicles were manufactured locally, marking a 16.88% fall from the same period last year, Surapong added.

A total of 88,808 vehicles were manufactured for export in May, accounting for 70.39% of the overall auto production in Thailand that month. This was 1% less year on year.

Thailand’s auto production falls 16.19% in May

Surapong said between January to May this year, 434,416 vehicles were manufactured locally for export, marking a drop of 2.54% from the same period last year.

As for production for the local market, 37,353 vehicles were made in May, marking a drop of 38.57% compared to the same period last year. Production for domestic sales from January to May stood at 210,525, marking a drop of 36.23% from the same period last year.

Surapong said 49,871 vehicles were retailed locally in May, up 6.7% from April, but still 23.38% less compared to May last year.

He attributed the drop in local sales to stricter consideration of loans by banks and financial firms and high household debts as well as the economic slump.

Surapong said the FTI’s auto club believes that a delay in the disbursement of the fiscal 2024 budget caused a drop in government spending, which resulted in a downward trend in the manufacturing performance index for 10 consecutive months.

This situation forced several factories to reduce working hours and lay off tens of thousands of workers, prompting a huge slump in people’s purchasing power, Surapong said.

He added that a total of 260,365 vehicles were sold from January to May this year, down by 23.8% from the same period of last year.

He said 8,166 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were registered in May, up 14.5% from the same month last year. Some 43,921 BEVs were registered from January to May, up 31.64% from the same period last year.