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Thailand’s car and truck exports in March rose by 12.63% to 127,619 units compared to the same period last year, according to the Federation of Thai Industries’ automotive industry club, Bernama reports.

“The automotive exports, which include engine, parts and spare parts, rose three per cent to 80.676 billion baht (RM8.78 billion),” deputy chairman Surapong Paisitpatanapong said.

For the January-March period, exports totalled 328,232 units – 12.6% up on the same period last year – and in terms of value, up 7.74% to 146.884 billion baht (RM15.99 billion).

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However, domestic sales in March continued to be weak, decreasing 11.7% year-on-year to 74,117 units. Surapong attributed the drop to a government budget disbursement that was lower than expected, continued low agricultural product prices, significant household debt, strict loan requirements and a private sector investment slowdown.

Where the January-March period is concerned, domestic sales were up 11.8% year-on-year to 197,789 units, but car and truck production in March fell 1.72% to 178,217 units (January-March period, up 1.36% to 524,540 units), Surapong said.

The gap in car output between Thailand and Indonesia narrowed to its smallest ever last year in percentage terms, and Indonesia’s production reportedly may push past Thailand’s within a decade. See how Malaysia did last year here.