Car exports hit by parts crisis

Car exports hit by parts crisis

Shortage cut March shipments by 10.2%

Thailand's car exports in March dropped by 10.2% year-on-year to 93,840 units due to a shortage of semiconductors and auto parts, which could become even more scarce because of the Russia-Ukraine war, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The shortage has affected exports of many car models to the Australian, European and Asian markets, said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice chairman of and spokesman for the FTI's automotive club.

The Covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai has been one of the factors behind the shortage of auto parts, eventually impacting global supply chains in the automotive industry.

"There are two key factories there which supply auto parts to Thailand and global markets. We expect the pandemic situation will get better soon," said Mr Surapong.

The federation is also closely monitoring the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine on global automakers in Thailand, as the unsettled conflict may deal a further blow to the supply of raw materials needed for car assembly.

According to the FTI club, car exports from January to March this year decreased by 5.81% year-on-year to 243,124 units, with the export value slightly increasing by 0.86% to 144.16 billion baht.

However, compared with February, the number of car exports in March rose by around 18%.

Domestic car sales in March increased by 9.1% year-on-year to 87,245 units and rose by 17.12% from February.

From January to March, car sales in the country increased by 19% year-on-year to 231,189 units.

"The increases were attributed to a range of factors, from the state easing of measures against Covid-19, to the electric vehicle (EV) incentive package to boost EV sales and car bookings at the Bangkok International Motor Show," said Mr Surapong.

The 12-day car event, held at IMPACT Challenger Hall in Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province, ended on April 3.

In March, car manufacturing in Thailand increased by 6.25% year-on-year to 172,671 units.

From January to March, car production increased by 3.06% year-on-year to 480,078 units, the club said.

"Around 32% were produced to serve higher demand during the Bangkok International Motor Show and Songkran holidays," said Mr Surapong.

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