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Automotive industry expects slight rise in sales this year


The automotive industry estimates this year’s sales to come in at 840,000 vehicles marking a rise of 6 per cent compared to 2020, though it will depend on how fast the economy recovers from the new wave of Covid-19 infections.

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“Last year’s total sales was expected to come in at 790,000 vehicles, or 20 per cent less than the previous year due to the outbreak,” said Charnchai Trakarn-udomsuk, president of Mazda Sales Thailand. “As for this year, the company expects total sales to hit 840,000 units, a slight increase from last year, because the country is still struggling with the new wave.

“Mazda will strengthen its line-up for this year with the new BT-50 pro-pickup truck, which should help push the company’s sales past the 50,000 milestone or rise 27 per cent year on year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Phongsak Lertrudeewatthanawong, deputy managing director at MG Sales (Thailand), agreed that the auto market will witness sales of up to 840,000 units this year, with the most popular choices being small vehicles and pick-up trucks.

“MG will launch a new electric vehicle to add to our ZS EV and EP series,” he said. “We will also build an additional 600 quick charge stations nationwide to ensure our users have access to a comprehensive charging network, while urging normal car owners to switch to electric vehicles.”

Toshiaki Maekawa, president of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, said the auto market has been improving gradually since September last year, especially in the small truck and pick-up truck sectors due mostly to the expansion of e-commerce and home-delivery services.

“Many people have returned home after losing their jobs in big cities and started new professions in agriculture or delivery, which has driven up the sale of pick-up trucks for commercial use,” he said. “However, the sale of large trucks is still low because the export industry is struggling under the Covid-19 restrictions imposed by foreign trade partners.”

As for motorcycle markets, Shigeto Kimura, president of AP Honda, said the sale of motorcycles rose slowly in the last quarter of 2020, coming in at 1.52 million units all year.

“This year, we expect sales to come in at 1.54 million units or a 1 per cent rise despite the new wave of Covid-19, since we believe in the government’s measures to keep the outbreak under control.”

Published : January 18, 2021

By : THE NATION