Toyota downbeat on full-year sales view

Toyota downbeat on full-year sales view

Leading maker posts decline in first quarter

Mr Tanada with the all-new Toyota Hilux Revo, formerly known as the Hilux Vigo.
Mr Tanada with the all-new Toyota Hilux Revo, formerly known as the Hilux Vigo.

Toyota Motor Thailand Co (TMT) yesterday conceded that local sales of its commercial and passenger vehicles would drop this year as the market struggles to recover.

President Kyoichi Tanada said sales in the overall market would possibly fall below 900,000 vehicles against 920,000 forecast previously.

TMT earlier said it expected to sell 330,000 units this year, up 0.9%, driven by commercial vehicles, sales of which were projected to rise by 3.4% to 181,300 units.

Passenger car sales, meanwhile, were expected to fall by 2% to 148,700 units.

TMT will announce its new sales forecast in late July.

The Japanese car maker posted sales of 70,042 vehicles in the first quarter, down 16.8% from the same period a year earlier.

Of the total, passenger cars represented 31,398 units, down 20.2%, while commercial vehicles were 38,644 units, down 13.8%.

TMT held a 35.4% market share in the quarter, down from last year's 37.1%.

Overall domestic sales in the first quarter fell by 11.8% to 197,787 vehicles.

Of the total, passenger cars fell by 12.5% to 78,970 units and commercial vehicles fell by 11.3% to 118,817 units.

Thailand's domestic car sales reached 1.45 million in 2012 and tallied 1.33 million in 2013, propelled by the first-time car buyer scheme and strong demand after floods hit several provinces including in 2011.

Sales fell by 33.7% in 2014 to 881,832 vehicles, depressed by political turmoil and low prices for farm products.

In related news, TMT yesterday kicked off the eighth generation of its Hilux pickup truck.

The company is changing the name of the Hilux Vigo to the Hilux Revo after taking 11 years to launch the all-new model.

Its local manufacturing has played a major role since 2004, when most pickup production to Thailand.

At present, Thailand's annual manufacturing capacity of 500,000 vehicles accounts for 70% of Toyota's pickup production in six countries.

The Toyota Hilux was introduced in 1968. The Thai-made pickup has accumulated 1.65 million units in domestic sales and 2.4 million in exports.

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