Thai traffic

Following the less than rosy economic situation, Bangkok Post reports that the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has cut its projection for Thai vehicle production from 2.05 million to between 1.95 to 2.0 million this year. The reason cited is weaker domestic demand for automobiles.

FTI vice chairman Surapong Paisitpattanapong said that the organisation expects 50,000 to 100,000 fewer vehicles to roll off Thai assembly lines as local demand drops to around 750,000 to 800,000 units. However, the FTI still expects 1.2 million vehicles to be produced for export this year.

Worldwide demand for Thai-made vehicles is up, helping to balance out the domestic situation. In September, the Land of Smiles exported 124,952 vehicles, an increase of 28.1% year-on-year, fuelled by demand for new pick-up trucks (Middle East) and eco-cars (Europe and North America). In September, local sales stood at 61,863 units, a year-on-year drop of 10.5%.

In August, FTI cut its 2015 projection for car sales in Thailand from 850,000 units to 800,000, a month after bringing down the forecast to 850,000 from the original 950,000.

In Malaysia, the MAA cut its 2015 total industry volume (TIV) forecast in July, but only by 10,000 units to 670,000 units. Separately, the fall in value of the Malaysian ringgit versus major currencies has led leading foreign brands Toyota and Honda to announce price hikes that will come into effect next year.