Thailand car market in first half 2012 boomed 46%. Toyota at 39% share.

Recovering from the natural disaster of last October, the Thailand car industry was fast growing this year, with sales up above 30% in the first four months. However, the Thailand Government resolved to introduce a new incentive support, aiming to encourage the purchase of the first car and support the high foreign producers investments in the country.

The government’s program was called “First Car Buyer Program” with a budget of Bt.30 billion and will generate the biggest boost in the Thailand car history. The incentive will be paid back to 500.000 first-time car buyers and can easily be raised to cater to an additional 100.000 buyers, who are expected to speed up car purchases before the government’s December 31, 2012 deadline expires.

As a result, the local authorities are forecasting a local market volume at 1.3 million vehicles this year. Focus2move.com actually forecast a final volume of 1.233.000 vehicles, up 55% from last year. Obviously, the next year the industry will be hit by a deep decline, if new actions will not put in place.

Auto-makers are presently adjusting production by reducing manufacture of 1.800cc and 2.000cc models and assembling more models with low displacements that fit better with the program. Now the Thailand car production is at full capacity, including the overtime, and parts suppliers are also running at full steam. The production will reach 2.3 million vehicles this year, with 1 million exports.

The introduction of this program is impacting over all OEMs local plans. For instance, rumors reports that Toyota Motor Thailand, which initially planned to launch its eco-car in March 2013, may speed up plans and unveil the vehicle at the motor expo in December this year in order to start collecting orders for the new model before the year-end, making it eligible for the First Car scheme. Toyota will be the last auto-maker to launch its eco-car following Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki. The eco-car market is expected to reach 100.000 vehicles this year.

Chevrolet has speed up the launch of its Sonic subcompact that replaces the ageing Aveo. The Sonic, initially powered by a 1.4 liter engine and available in both sedan and hatchback body types, is priced from Bt548.000.

Ford which earlier was offering a 1.5 liter version of the Fiesta so that it qualifies for the First Car Buyer Program. There’s presently a four months waiting time for the Fiesta as well as other eco-car models.

The Thailand market boom will further help Toyota recovering of world’s sales leadership, considering the Japanese brand is dominating this market. In the first half of 2012, Toyota sold 241.035 vehicles with a share of 39.8%, more than doubling the second player sales, the Isuzu, which sold 97.324 units with a 16.1% of share.

Nissan was third, with 51.482 units and 8.5% of share, only few units ahead of Mitsubishi. Honda had lost its third position due to late production recovery after heavy flood effects. In the first quarter Honda sold only 2.734, but as the full capacity was recovered, the second quarter sales were 45.574, with a share of 13.9%. The first half cumulative sales resulted to be 48.309, with a share of 8.0%.

Chevrolet in 6th position was the first non-Japanese maker, selling 32.287 units with a share of 5.3%. Mercedes in 11th position was the first European and the leader of luxury segment, with 2.999 sales and a share of 0.5%.

In the table below, the Top 20 Brands ranked for the first half position:

Rank

Brands

Jun

Q2

I Half

Q1

Jun

Q2

I Half

1

Toyota

45.281

119.929

241.035

43,6%

36,7%

36,7%

39,8%

2

Isuzu

17.276

47.560

97.324

17,9%

14,0%

14,5%

16,1%

3

Nissan

8.161

24.090

51.482

9,9%

6,6%

7,4%

8,5%

4

Mitsubishi

11.593

27.352

51.233

8,6%

9,4%

8,4%

8,5%

5

Honda

17.548

45.574

48.309

1,0%

14,2%

13,9%

8,0%

6

Chevrolet

5.607

16.985

32.287

5,5%

4,5%

5,2%

5,3%

7

Mazda

6.301

16.313

30.577

5,1%

5,1%

5,0%

5,1%

8

Ford

5.031

11.401

21.369

3,6%

4,1%

3,5%

3,5%

9

Hino

1.445

3.818

7.616

1,4%

1,2%

1,2%

1,3%

10

Suzuki

2.060

4.820

7.000

0,8%

1,7%

1,5%

1,2%

11

Mercedes

578

1.753

2.999

0,4%

0,5%

0,5%

0,5%

12

Hyundai

449

1.392

2.748

0,5%

0,4%

0,4%

0,5%

13

BMW

432

1.345

2.572

0,4%

0,3%

0,4%

0,4%

14

Tata

374

1.256

2.542

0,5%

0,3%

0,4%

0,4%

15

Proton

334

890

2.228

0,5%

0,3%

0,3%

0,4%

16

Volvo

173

618

1.033

0,1%

0,1%

0,2%

0,2%

17

DFM

197

471

941

0,2%

0,2%

0,1%

0,2%

18

Mitsu fuso

158

370

817

0,2%

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

19

Kia

185

449

731

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

20

Lexus

65

197

325

0,0%

0,1%

0,1%

0,1%

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