CESA puts car trade-in on discussion agenda

CESA puts car trade-in on discussion agenda

Measures to stimulate domestic car sales, including the trade-in incentive, will be raised for discussion at the Centre for Economic Administration Situation (CESA) on Dec 2.

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said on Tuesday the centre's Dec 2 meeting looks set to take into account measures including the trade-in scheme to stimulate domestic car sales, notably for electric vehicles.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Council, said earlier the new car sales stimulus measures may include a car trade-in scheme worth 100,000 baht for individual car owners who can use the expense as an income tax deduction, as proposed by the private sector. The scheme would be applicable only for owners of cars older than 10 years, or those who purchase electric vehicles (EVs).

Further details about the EV purchase option are not yet available.

Krisda Utamote, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand (EVAT), said he believes the trade-in or tax rebate proposal for EVs will cover all three types of EVs -- battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) -- in order to make sure there will be sufficient EVs for prospective buyers.

At present, only Fomm Asia, a Japanese developer of compact EVs, and Takano Auto Thailand, which produces small electric pickups, are two key BEV manufacturers in Thailand, he said.

Vehicle prices range 400,000-600,000 baht.

Last year, around 20,000 PHEVs and HEVs were registered with the Land Transport Department, while only 1,079 BEVs were registered, said Mr Krisda, adding the numbers do not reveal how many were manufactured in the country.

The EVAT will monitor the outcome of this proposal once approved, he said.

"We just don't know whether the owners of 10-12 year-old cars are ready to change their cars given their income levels," said Mr Krisda.

Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries' automotive club said, car manufacturers who have been granted tax privileges from the Board of Investment (BoI) are scheduled to release their EVs into the market from late 2021 onwards.

To be sold domestically, EV prices must be lowered and there must be sufficient charging outlets across the country, he said.

On Nov 4, the BoI, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, approved a fresh privilege package for electric EVs following the expiration of the previous package in 2018.

The fresh package includes a three-year tax holiday for manufacturers of plug-in hybrid vehicles and a maximum eight-year corporate income tax waiver for battery EV producers.

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