Mazda jittery over 2020 sales prospects

Mazda jittery over 2020 sales prospects

Mazda Sales (Thailand) expects the car production in the country will drop for the second straight year. (Mazda photo)
Mazda Sales (Thailand) expects the car production in the country will drop for the second straight year. (Mazda photo)

Mazda Sales (Thailand), the local distribution arm of the Japanese carmaker, is worried the baht's appreciation and the cloudy domestic economy will affect auto sales in 2020.

President Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk said if the baht averages 30 against the US dollar, it will hurt the agricultural, automotive and tourism sectors.

Given these risks, the country's car production will drop for the second straight year, he said.

Mazda projects GDP to grow 2.8-3% in 2020, said Mr Chanchai.

"The country needs the government to drive the economy this year via stimulus packages, state budget disbursement and easing up financial measures for the private sector," he said.

"The government should speed up ongoing megaprojects such as airports, highways, railways and metro lines."

Thailand remains a key tourist destination for people from China, India, Japan, South Korea and Asean despite the strong baht, said Mr Chanchai.

Mazda estimates local car sales to reach 1 million units in 2020.

For the period, the company plans to sell over 60,000 cars in Thailand and gain a 6% market share.

In 2019, Mazda sold 58,129 vehicles, a sharp drop of 17.5%, well below its local sales target of 65,000 cars. This was the first decline in five years for Mazda sales in Thailand.

Mazda captured a 5.8% market share last year.

Sales of all Mazda models contracted in 2019. The Mazda2 eco-car dropped 8.6% to 41,987 units, along with the BT-50 Pro pickup at 5,664 units (-16.6%), Mazda3 at 4,717 units (-10.2%) and the CX-5 at 3,020 units (-63%).

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