Monday, September 24, 2007

Thailand's production expands 2.5%, led by exports

SANTAN SANTIVIMOLNAT

Local production of automobiles excluding motorcycles in the first eight months of this year rose 2.47% year-on-year to 816,235 units, according to Suraphong Phaisitphattanapong, a spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries' automobile industry club.

Despite a poor local economy, exports of automobile products from Thailand were healthy with shipments growing almost 20% through August.

Vehicles for export totalled 430,296 units or 52.7% of total vehicle production, he said.

Although the number of vehicles produced for export increased 21.6% year-on-year, those produced for local sales declined 12.8% to 385,939 units.

Production of one-ton pickup trucks, the country's best-selling vehicles, rose 2.85% year-on-year to 597,183 units while production of passenger cars for the period increased 1.76% to 203,641 units.

Of the total one-ton pickups produced, 571,559 units were pure pickups and the remaining 25,624 units were passenger pickup vehicles.

According to Mr Suraphong, the value of exports of fully assembled vehicles in the first eight months was 188.09 billion baht, up 21.1% from the previous year.

Auto engine exports increased 12.1% to 6.52 billion baht while those of assembly kits rose 18.8% to 68.83 billion baht and spare parts increased 36.6% to 4.68 billion baht.

Exports of vehicles, engines, assembly kits and spare parts in the first eight months increased 20.5% year-on-year to a total of 268.13 billion baht.

Production of motorcycles in the first eight months dropped 6.16% to 2.24 million units.

Exports of motorcycles for the period totalled 1.19 million units worth 17.04 billion baht, up 18.3% in volume and 7.2% in value. Exports of assembly kits rose 13.3% to 9.21 billion baht and spare parts increased 83.4% to 652.41 million baht.

Exports of motorcycles, assembly kits and spare parts increased 10.35% to a total of 26.9 billion baht.

Exports of all automobile products increased 19.5% to 295.03 billion baht.

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