Annual motor show bookings surge 35%

Annual motor show bookings surge 35%

Economic recovery, EV policy push sales

A collection of cars on display at the 44th Bangkok International Motor Show 2023 which took place in Bangkok last week. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A collection of cars on display at the 44th Bangkok International Motor Show 2023 which took place in Bangkok last week. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Car and motorcycle bookings at the 2023 Bangkok International Motor Show, which ended on Sunday, rose by more than 35% year-on-year to 45,983 units, thanks to an improving economy and electric vehicles (EVs).

The economic recovery and the government's policy to promote EVs, which encourages EV manufacturers to introduce electric cars to prospective EV buyers were key factors, said Jaturon Komolmit, vice-chairman of Grand Prix International, which organised the event.

The 44th Bangkok International Motor Show, which started on March 22, lasted 12 days, drawing 1.62 million visitors, an increase from 1.57 million visitors last year.

"The Thai automotive industry tends to get healthier and grow, thanks to EVs which drew a good response from buyers," said Mr Jaturon, adding there were a total of 50 new models of battery and oil-powered cars and motorcycles at the event.

Bookings for electric autos stood at 9,234 units, making up 21.5% of total car bookings. Internal combustion engine-based cars still commanded the most bookings, which amounted to 33,651 units, a year-on-year increase of more than 34%.

Last year, total car bookings reached 31,896 units, a surge from 8,843 in 2021 and 18,394 in 2020, during which Thailand was hardly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the 2023 Motor Show, bookings of motorcycles also increased by 56.7% year-on-year to 3,098 units. Electric motorcycles accounted for 837 of the tally.

Many global car makers expressed worry that the domestic automotive industry may be affected by high inflation and household debt, which would weaken people's purchasing power, as well as stricter loan conditions set by financial institutions for car buyers.

On the positive side, Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and spokesman for the FTI's Automotive Industry Club, said he believes the prolonged global semiconductor shortage would ease this year, compared with the severe scarcity a few years ago.

The club expects total car manufacturing in Thailand to reach its target of 1.95 million units this year, an increase of 3.53% from more than 1.88 million units in 2022.

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