Thailand auto sales drop 65% in April from Covid effect



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It’s very much expected that new cars won’t be flying off showrooms in the current climate, and the latest figures from Thailand say the same. According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) auto club, car sales fell 65.02% in April to 30,109 units, compared to the same month in 2019.

Last month’s dip is the 11th straight month that domestic car sales shrank after over two years of growth, according to the Bangkok Post, and the reason is of course Covid-19. In March, auto sales slid 41.74% year-on-year.

Last year, Thai new car sales eased 3.3% to one million units, compared to 2018’s 19.5% climb to 1.05 million units. 2019’s full year decline was the first in three years. It’s expected that 2020 will follow the downward trend.

In April, FTI said that Thailand’s auto production is expected to fall 37% to 1.33 million units this year, and the drop could be as bad as 50% (to one million units) should the Covid-19 crisis drags into June. The latest 1.33 million units forecast consists of 665,000 units for export and 665,000 units for domestic consumption, split evenly. Previous projections were two million units in January and 1.9 million units in March.

In Malaysia, total industry volume (TIV) for Q1 fell 25.61% y-o-y to 106,428 units. The Malaysian Automotive Association has made a downward revision to its 2020 TIV forecast, from 607,000 units to just 400,000. If that comes true, it would be the first time in 13 years that our TIV failed to pass the 500,000 mark.

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