FTI upbeat on motorcycles
published : 30 Jan 2023 at 06:40
newspaper section: Business
writer: Lamonphet Apisitniran
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) estimates motorcycle production will grow by 4.17% year-on-year to 2.1 million units in 2023 despite concerns over a global economic slowdown.
"Thailand's economy will continue to recover, driven by tourism and the positive impact of China's reopening. These factors will help boost motorcycle purchases," said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman of the FTI and spokesman for its Automotive Industry Club.
Thai Honda Co, a manufacturer and distributor of multi-purpose engines, is also optimistic about motorcycle sales this year.
The scheduled general election this year should also boost economic activities, which is good for the domestic motorcycle market, said Shigeto Kimura, president of Thai Honda.
The FTI expects motorcycle manufacturing for the domestic market to tally 1.75 million units, accounting for 83% of total production.
The remaining 350,000 units will be for export.
Mr Surapong said the semiconductor shortage should ease as chip makers are supplying more products to the automotive industry.
Previously semiconductors were needed by makers of computers and information technology products to serve higher demand, following the enforcement of work-from-home guidelines.
When pandemic infections declined, people in many countries went back to work at offices.
Last year, total production of new motorcycles in Thailand increased by 13.2% year-on-year to 2 million units, according to the FTI.
For 2022, the FTI reported domestic sales increased by 11.5% year-on-year to 1.7 million units and exports rose by 7.13% to 1.03 million units.
"In 2023, the global economic slowdown may affect exports and local consumer purchasing power, so we expect motorcycle sales in Thailand to reach 1.75 million units," said Mr Kimura.
Thai Honda set a sales target for 2023 of 1.38 million units, the same as in 2022.
Last year, the company's sales increased by 12% year-on-year to 1.38 million units, driven by sales of Honda Scoopy in the automatic segment.