After launching the City facelift yesterday, Honda Automobile Thailand (HAT) is set to raise its car production in the Kingdom by 10% this year to 220,000 units. The move is to match the expected recovery in Thai car sales this year, which will be the first uptick since 2012, the Bangkok Post reports.

The September 2017 expiry of the five-year lock-in period for vehicles bought under the previous government’s first-time car buyer scheme will help boost car sales. HAT COO Pitak Pruittisarikorn also cited anticipated economic growth, driven by the government’s economic stimulus measures; as well as the government’s promise to hold general elections late this year, which will boost private investment sentiment, as factors.

“I think there is no negative factor for the automotive industry in 2017. The overall car market is projected to stand at around 800,000 cars this year,” Pitak said, adding however that there are concerns on export markets, especially the slow economic recovery of oil exporting countries.

The Honda exec’s views echo that of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) automotive club, which recently said that it expects 2017 car exports to remain flat at about 1.2 million units. “Thailand’s vehicle shipments remain affected from an economic downside, notably in the Middle East, which is one of the key destinations for pick-up trucks. The economic situation in that region is also worrisome, both because of civil wars and low oil prices,” spokesman Surapong Paisitpatanapong said earlier this month.

Honda expects its Thai sales to increase by 12% this year to 120,000 units. That will be an increase on 2016’s total sales of 107,342 units, which was down by 4.3% compared to 2015. The drop mirrored Thailand’s total industry volume, which last year slid 4% to 767,000 units.

Honda runs two plants in Thailand, with its Ayutthaya and Prachin Buri facilities capable of churning out 300,000 and 120,000 cars respectively. The latter, which makes the City and other compact cars, will run at maximum capacity this month. Honda expects to sell 36,000 units of the refreshed City this year.