53% drop in pickup trucks weighs on total
The country's total automobile production excluding motorcycles dropped 5.25% year-on-year last month to 103,737 units due to a slump in the domestic market with only 34,110 units, a 31.88% decrease year-on-year, said Surapong Phaisitpattanapong, a spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries' Automobile Club.
The production decrease in August was the first of the year.
Production of pickup trucks for the domestic market fell 53.46% year-on-year in August to 14,130 units because of a four-month slide in sales blamed on rising diesel prices. Yet August sales still surpassed those in July.
Automobile production for export rose 17.2% year-on-year in August to 69,627 units while actual vehicle exports rose 5.74% to 69,404 units. In the eight months to August, vehicle production totalled 944,893 units, a 15.76% increase year-on-year, of which 529,530 units were produced for export, representing 56% of total production and a 23.1% increase year-on-year. The remaining 415,363 units are for the domestic market, representing 44% of total production and a 7.6% increase year-on-year.
Vehicle exports in the first eight months increased 22.75% year-on-year to 526,518 units while the total value rose 29.76% to 382.84 billion baht.
Passenger car production in August rose 12.36% year-on-year to 33,453 units and in eight months to August increased 33.9% to 272,756 units.
Pickup truck production including passenger pickup vehicles (PPV) fell 10.93% year-on-year to 69,102 units but in the eight months to August it was up by 10.36% to 659,073 units.
According to Mr Surapong, production of motorcycles in August decreased 20.6% to 218,750 units while for the first eight months production dropped 4.1% to 2.15 million units.
Exports of motorcycles, both fully built units and assembly kits, dropped sharply 497% year-on-year to 76,986 units while the export value fell 4.75% year-on-year to 1.79 billion baht.
In the eight months to August, motorcycle exports decreased 17.16% year-on-year to 990,520 units but the export value rose 1.4% to 17.27 billion baht.