Local Isuzu car sales drop 1.9%

Local Isuzu car sales drop 1.9%

Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Co president Toshiaki Maekawa and new Isuzu pickup passenger vehicle model which was officially launched yesterday.
Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Co president Toshiaki Maekawa and new Isuzu pickup passenger vehicle model which was officially launched yesterday.

Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, the local distributor of Japanese carmaker Isuzu, unveiled its car sales for the first nine months this year stood at 123,526 units, a 1.9% decrease year-on-year.

This was attributed to the global economic slowdown as well as weak purchasing power.

Company president Toshiaki Maekawa said 2020 is a difficult year for the automotive industry domestically and globally. His company not only faces challenges brought by the disease but also tough competition in car market.

"The sluggish economy caused the domestic car sales to decrease by 30%," he said during the official launch of a new Isuzu pickup passenger vehicle yesterday.

The company's pickup sales during January-September have increased by 33.9% year-on-year to 110,158 units, giving the company the leading market share at 44.6%.

"Thai customers need pickups for their new activities or new businesses," said Mr Maekawa, referring to a new trend in the pickup market.

Many people lost their jobs and want cars that can help them start new businesses, which includes e-commerce ventures.

"We are surprised by this new demand," he said.

For the company's large- and mid-sized trucks, sales dropped by 19.2% year-on-year to 9,213 units due to the domestic car sales slowdown and weak purchasing power.

Isuzu holds the largest market share of 51.6% in the large- and mid-sized truck segment.

In Thailand, the overall segment saw sales decrease by 21%, according to the company.

Mr Maekawa expects Thailand's car sales volume in 2020 will reach 757,000 units as the automotive industry begins to recover.

"From January to September, Thailand's car sales volume has reached 534,765 units so the goal can be attained in the last quarter of this year," he said.

Mr Maekawa said his company is not worried about the ongoing student-led protests.

He said Japanese businessmen view it as a short-term situation and believe the government can deal with the political conflict.

The demonstration does not affect the company's plans to continue investment in Thailand, he said.

Takeshi Kasahara, the company's vice president, expects sales of the new pickup passenger vehicle Isuzu MU-X to reach 2,000 units per month for the first six months and then dip to 1,500 monthly.

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