Nissan focus turns to exports
Nissan Motor (Thailand) aims to increase export sales, with the local market continuing to suffer from the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.
The Yokohama-based company expects domestic car sales to slow in the second half this year.
For its fiscal 2020 (April 2020 to March 2021), Nissan recorded domestic car sales of 39,600 units, a 5% market share.
Sekiguchi: Urges mass vaccinations
Isao Sekiguchi, president of Nissan Motor Thailand, said the company plans to sell more cars abroad in line with the global economic recovery and it will focus on markets with high potential like the Middle East.
"Covid-19 outbreaks have affected many countries, including in Asean and Japan," he said.
"Thailand has reinstituted lockdown measures even though they slow the economy."
The Thai government recently decided to extend the lockdown period and extend it to 29 provinces including Bangkok.
Travel and retail businesses have been restricted to contain the virus spread.
The measures are expected to have an effect on consumer purchasing power, while financial institutions have set strict lending criteria for auto loans during the pandemic.
Nissan projects domestic car sales in 2021 to be in a range of 700,000-750,000 units, down from its earlier projection of 800,000 units.
Similar to other manufacturers, Mr Sekiguchi emphasised the need to speed up mass inoculation to build herd immunity to stop the spread of the virus, which helps businesses, including car manufacturing.
Nissan said it faces a semiconductor shortage, but is trying to better manage stocks of computer chips to prevent the issue from seriously impacting car production.
The company said it will continue to strengthen its brand identity to become one of the top five car brands in Thailand.
Nissan plans to launch a new car model named "Terra" in Thailand this month, and wants to upgrade showrooms.
There are currently 178 showrooms across the country.
Nissan operates two factories in Samut Prakan, with total production capacity at 250,000 units a year.