Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thailand's pickup sales dip even in high season

SANTAN SANTIVIMOLNAT

The pickup truck market remained sluggish in October, reflecting poor economic sentiment, said a spokesman for Toyota Motor Thailand Co.

The gloomy world economic outlook, the plummeting stock market and high oil prices continue to undermine sales of new vehicles despite October being the start of the high season for automobile buying.

Sales in October of 26,091 units were 30.04% below sales of 37,299 units in the same month last year but slightly above sales of 24,781 units in September.

Monthly sales peaked at 34,304 units in April and slipped in May (29,133 units), June (25,265 units) and July (21,290 units) before edging up in August to 24,739 units. The drop was attributed to very high diesel prices, which have since eased by 50%, that had prompted consumers to put new vehicle purchases on hold.

Toyota, which led the market in October, sold 11,328 units - a 28.5% year-on-year decrease but a rise from 9,652 units sold in September after the introduction of a slightly altered Hilux Vigo in August.

Isuzu, which was Toyota's key competitor, sold 9,478 pickup trucks in October - a 29.9% year-on-year decrease and also a fall from 10,255 units sold in September. Isuzu has just launched a D-Max pickup truck with minor changes in early October, said a spokesman.

In the passenger pickup vehicle (PPV) segment, Toyota also led the market with 1,304 units sold in October. Mitsubishi, which started selling its PPVs in September, sold 650 units in October and looks likely to be a strong competitor in the future. Isuzu came in third place with 445 units sold. Ford sold only 38 units in the month.

From January to October, Toyota sold 11,661 PPVs while Isuzu sold 5,126. In only two months Mitsubishi sold 778 units while Ford sold 449 units over the entire 10-month period

Pickup truck sales including PPVs in the 10 months to October sank 12.8% to 278,789 units from 319,532 units in the same period last year.

Toyota led 10-month sales with 115,836 units sold for the period (down 14.68% year-on-year) while its rival Isuzu sold 105,467 units (down 3.51% year-on-year).

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