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Thailand’s new car market fell with 56,099 vehicles sold in March 2024 according to the latest data released by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). This is a 30 percent drop from the same period last year when 79,943 units were sold.

According to the FTI, this decrease is caused by tougher requirements for auto loans set by banks, an underperforming economy, and the postponement of state budget allocations for fiscal year 2024.

“We still hope the situation will improve in the second half of this year, driven by more spending and investment from the state and business sectors and tourism growth,” said Mr Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman of and spokesperson for the FTI.

Between January and March 2024, sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars fell across different segments. There were 41,058 passenger cars(down 41.4 percent from 2023), 46,611 pure pickups (down 44 percent), and 9,814 pickup passenger vehicles (down 46.2 percent) sold in this period. Furthermore, there had been 4,597 ICE trucks sold across these three months (down 26.1 percent).

Electric vehicle (EV) sales were a mixed bag for this quarter. There were 19,131 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) sold (up 43.6 percent from last year), 563 plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) sold (down 22.2 percent), and 36,042 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) sold this period (up 69.1 percent).

Total ICE and EV sales for the first quarter of 2024 fell 24.6 percent with a total of 163,756 units sold.

A Slump in Domestic Car Production

Car production also dropped in March according to the FTI. This month, local manufacturing fell 23.08 percent from last year to 1238,331 units.

Because of this, total car production for the first quarter of 2024 fell 18.45% from a year earlier to 414,123 units.

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