Thai vehicle production in April lowest in 30 years

By THE STAR | 22 May 2020

BANGKOK: The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said in a report on Thursday that automobile production fell to the lowest level in 30 years in April, hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The FTI report said only 24,711 vehicles were produced in April, down 83.55% year-on-year.

The number of vehicles produced for export had dropped 81.76%, while the number produced for domestic consumption was down 85.35%.

Also, the domestic sale of cars in Thailand was at 30,109, down 65.02% year-on-year due to the drop in people's purchasing power, while the export of automobiles was at 20,326, down 69.71%t year-on-year owing to the economic slowdown.The FTI has cut its production target for the automotive industry from 2 million to just 1 million.

READ MORE: MCO weighs on car sales in April

The report also said that very few people had been visiting car showrooms even though the Covid-19 situation has improved.

It said that should there be a second wave of infections, the automobile industry will nosedive further.

Earlier, FTI president Suphant Mongkolsuthree told reporters that the industrial confidence index in April stood at 75.9 from the previous month of 88.

"The index dropped to the lowest since April 2009 due to uncertainty following the Covid-19 outbreak, the government's lockdown measures and the drought," he said.

"Some businesses, especially small and medium-scale enterprises, have had to slow down their production and investment, as well as lay off employees because of liquidity shortages."

According to the FTI's survey, 69.5% of businesses are concerned about the global economic situation, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic had led to a massive drop in orders from overseas. — The Star/Xinhua