FTI mulls revising up car export target
Demand growing in Oceania, Asia-Pacific
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) may revise up its 2021 car export target in July, following growing demand in the Oceania and Asia-Pacific markets, but admits the final figures will be decided by the global semiconductor shortage and the third wave of the pandemic in Thailand.
Overseas car sales may increase from 750,000 to 800,000-850,000 units, said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman for FTI's automotive club.
Growth in demand in the two markets has resulted from economic recovery, the easing of lockdown measures as well as inoculation programmes for people, according to the club.
"The car export market will continue to grow. This is a good sign though we still need to monitor the situation for one more month," said Mr Surapong.
Thailand is struggling to deal with both the semiconductor shortage and the third wave of Covid-19. These two factors will affect FTI's target forecast, he said.
"Some global automakers in Thailand already closed their factories for 5-7 days because they did not have semiconductors required for their car production," said Mr Surapong.
"They also need to solve the problem by delaying plans to make some car models."
Earlier this year, FTI forecast car production in Thailand to reach 1.5 million units in 2021, a 5.12% increase from 1.41 million units in 2020.
Half of the new cars will be exported.
According to FTI, car production in May increased by 150.1% year-on-year to 140,168 units. Production for export rose by 126% and, for the domestic market, went up by 193.3% year-on-year.
Thailand exported 81,284 cars and produced 58,884 cars for the domestic market this month.
"It's a sharp increase from the low production last year when the government enforced lockdown measures, including a ban on the motor show event in March," said Mr Surapong.
Domestic car sales in May increased by 38.4% year-on-year to 55,942 units.
From January to May this year, total car production increased by 32.92% year-on-year to 710,356 units.
During the five-month period, Thailand exported a total of 411,663 cars, a 35.6% increase year-on-year.
Manufacturers produced a total of 298,693 cars for the domestic market during the same period, a 29.3% increase year-on-year, said FTI.