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Thailand’s Automobile Sales Results in the First Half of 2023

Automobile sales in Thailand in the first half of 2023 fell 5.0% year-on-year to 406,131 units. The decrease is said to be due to a decline in consumer appetite for purchasing vehicles triggered by rising interest rates, stricter loan screening, and uncertainty about the future of the global and Thai economies. The Bank of Thailand has raised the policy interest rate for seven consecutive meetings since September 2022, which was 0.75% in August of the same year, increasing to 2.25% in August 2023. Car loan interest rates have been rising in line with policy interest rates, and loan screening has become stricter accordingly.

Thailand’s largest automaker Toyota Motor Thailand announced its full year forecast for the Thai market of 855,000 units in July 2023, slightly exceeding the previous year's result. The reason for this optimistic outlook is economic recovery in the second half. However, approximately three months have passed since the general election held in May, and a new cabinet has not yet been inaugurated. As the introduction of new economic policies is delayed, the market may continue to cool down, and there is a possibility that the economy will fall below the previous year’s level.

Graph: Thailand: Monthly Sales Volume of Automobiles (Jan. 2021-Jun. 2023)Graph: Thailand: Market Share of Automobiles by Brand (2018-2022, YTD June 2023)
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