FTI Raises Auto Sales Forecast
Looks like the worst is over for the Thai auto market, as the sales forecast for 2017 has been revised upwards to 800,000 units, from the earlier 780,000 units. Factors include the recovering economy and the expiry of the five-year lock-up period for vehicles bought under the first-time car buyer scheme.
“Thai car sales are expected to jump by 6.7% to the 800k mark next year. If so, it will be the first increase in four years after a downward trend since 2013.” Said Mr. Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) automotive industry club.
Cars bought under Thailand’s first car scheme under the Yingluck administration have to be kept for five years. This expires in September and will lead to new car sales.
“Some 20,000 to 30,000 buyers in the government’s first-time car buyer programme are expected to buy new cars, so the club is optimistic about market sentiment next year. I am also confident that financial institutions will ease their lending approval for car buyers once they witness a better economy and declining household debt,” Mr. Surapong said.
With recovering domestic car sales, the FTI forecasts Thai automotive output to grow by 2.6% next year to 2 million cars.
(Source: Paultan, Bangkok Post)