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Thailand’s Automobile Market by Segment in 2019: Sales Decline 3.3% to 1.01 Million Units

Thailand’s automobile sales volume dropped 3.3% year-on-year in 2019 to 1.01 million units, declining for the first time in three years. One-ton pickup trucks, B-segment passenger cars and other core segments decreased across the board. The market share of one-ton pickup trucks slumped 0.1pp to 42.8% while B-segment passenger cars fell 1.5pp to 26.0%.

The passenger car market declined 3.8% to 338,000 units. Of which the B segment, which is the best-selling segment among passenger cars, fell 8.6% to 262,000 units. The B segment turned to growth in 2017 and 2018 thanks to solid performance of the Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Yaris ATIV, and Honda City and Jazz, but declined again to 2019. The segment-leader Mazda2, which includes both the sedan and the hatchback model, dropped 8.7% but remained on top. However, looking at data by vehicle body type in the B segment, the Toyota Yaris is the top model among hatchback models and the Toyota Yaris ATIS is the highest-selling sedan among sedan models. The C segment inched up 1.8% to 57,000 units. While the segment-leader Honda Civic increased 13.9% to 31,000 units, nearly all other models declined. The D segment sharply increased, going up 2.2-fold to 19,000 units. The steep rise was driven by the fully-redesigned Toyota Camry which was launched in October 2018.

The SUV market contracted 10.7% to 130,000 units, declining for the first time in three years. Of which small SUVs dropped 17.3% to 48,000 units. In the small SUV segment, the Toyota C-HR, ranked first in 2018, dropped 26.0% to 12,000 units, descending to third place. Although the Honda HR-V, which ranked second in 2018, fell 9.4%, it took top position in 2019 with over 14,000 units. The MG ZS, which was third in 2018, took second place in 2019 with over 14,000 units. It is interesting to note that a mere 66 units separates the ZS from the segment-leader HR-V. Medium / large SUVs fell 6.5% to 83,000 units. The previous year’s top two models maintained their position. The segment-leader Toyota Fortuner inched up 0.4% while the second-placed Mitsubishi Pajero Sport increased 4.4%. The rest of the three models of the top five the Honda CR-V, Isuzu MU-X and Ford Everest declined.

The MPV market went up 50.4% to 34,000 units, reaching a record high level. Brisk sales of the Mitsubishi Xpander, launched in August 2018, pushed up overall sales, the model accounting for 47.9% of all MPV sales with 16,000 units. One-ton pickup trucks, Thailand’s highest-selling segment, fell 3.4% to 432,000 units, going down for the first time in four years. The segment-leader Toyota Hilux rose 9.6% to 165,000 units, increasing its segment share 4.5pp to 38.3%. The Isuzu D-Max, whose fully-redesigned version was launched in October 2019, dropped 3.9% to 144,000 units, maintaining second place. The Ford Ranger, which fell 21.7% to 43,000 units, remained at third position.

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