Trade-in coupons to kick-start car sales
The Industry Ministry will stimulate domestic car sales by working with the Finance Ministry to launch trade-in coupons, worth 100,000 baht each.
Officials expect the scheme to boost car demand, which has plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic, while reducing emissions from ageing cars.
Industry Minister Suriya Jung- rungreangkit said his ministry will discuss the measure with the Finance Ministry and forward the project to the cabinet for a final say within two or three months.
According to the Land Transport Department, about 3 million registered cars powered by internal combustion engines have been in use for over 15 years.
The minister said the trade-in coupon scheme will be open to all types of car models, including electric vehicles (EVs).
The project will run for five years, which is deemed long enough to restore the automotive industry.
"This is a quick-win project to help car manufacturers and related businesses crushed by Covid-19 impact," Mr Suriya said.
He expects EVs to become more popular as one of the targeted S-curve industries supported by the government.
Officials plan to increase the EV manufacturing proportion to 30%, or roughly 750,000 units, out of a total of 2.5 million cars made in 2030.
In 2017, the government launched EV promotional privileges for car and auto parts makers covering three types of EVs: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-powered.
The privileges include a tax holiday of 5-8 years and import duty exemptions for cars and machinery.
Zhang Haibo, president of SAIC Motor-CP Co and MG Sales Thailand, said his company launched an EV model last year in response to demand growth and plans to increase the number of charging outlets, which are currently scarce.
MG plans to have 100 charging stations across its 140 showrooms this year and will work with BCP Plc to expand chargers to petrol stations next year.
Housing estates and department stores will be the next target.
"MG expects to spend 2 million baht in investment per station," Mr Zhang said.