Thailand’s Automotive Industry Remains Weak in May

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The FINANCIAL — Thailand’s auto industry showed continued weakness in May, mainly due to a local economic slowdown, according to the Federation of Thai Industries.

The FTI’s Automotive Industry Club reported on June 23 that vehicle production fell 8.76% from the same month a year earlier, but rose 8.93% from the previous month, to 135,045 units in May. The latest declines in production were attributed to the country’s slow economic recovery and a change in the assembly line by one of the auto makers, the FTI said.

For the first five months of 2015, total production contracted 1.1% from a year ago to 783,553 units, according to Nasdaq.

In terms of sales, domestic vehicle distribution dropped 18.3% in May from a year ago, but went up 5.32% from April to 56,939 units. The auto club said weak domestic sales were attributed to low farm-product prices and slow implementation of government investment projects and state budget disbursement. Strict loan approvals by banks due to high household debt were also blamed for slow sales.

Domestic vehicle sales during the January-May period decreased 15.9% on year to 308,784 units.

Thailand’s vehicle exports, meanwhile, fell 6.17% on year in May to 88,937 units, largely due to an auto maker’s change in production of its pickup truck model that led to a decline in overseas shipments of Thai-made trucks, the auto club said. In terms of value, auto shipments dropped 4,39% from the same month a year earlier to 43.5 billion baht ($1.3 billion).

Overseas shipments of vehicles totaled 499,299 units in January-May, a 9.47% rise from the same period a year earlier.


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