Drop in motorcycle output likely to persist

Drop in motorcycle output likely to persist

Models of motorcycles are on display at the Bangkok International Motor Expo 2022. Domestic motorcycle sales will pay a key role in driving motorcycle production in 2024. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Models of motorcycles are on display at the Bangkok International Motor Expo 2022. Domestic motorcycle sales will pay a key role in driving motorcycle production in 2024. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Thailand's motorcycle production is expected to total 2.12 million units this year, driven by sales in the domestic market, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The country produced 2.47 million units last year, a year-on-year decrease of 5.8% from 2022.

"We believe production in 2024 will continue to decline as exports drop with neighbouring countries producing more motorcycles," said FTI vice-chairman Surapong Paisitpatanapong, also spokesman for its Automotive Industry Club.

Sales in the domestic market are expected to outstrip exports this year.

Of the estimated 2.12 million units, production for sale in Thailand is projected at 1.7 million units, while 420,000 units will be produced for export, he said.

"We believe domestic demand will remain high, assuming the Thai economy improves," Mr Surapong said.

The tourism recovery should continue to drive demand, together with purchases from the agricultural sector, he said.

"Farmers often tend to make motorcycle purchasing decisions after the harvest season," Mr Surapong said.

Tourism activities can also increase motorcycle production, as many foreign visitors enjoy riding motorcycles in the country, he was reported as saying earlier.

In December last year, Thailand's motorcycle production decreased by 8.7% year-on-year to 201,128 units.

Of the total, 164,528 were completely built-up units and 36,600 completely knocked-down units.

Mr Surapong attributed the decrease in production to more motorcycle manufacturing taking place in neighbouring countries, leading to fewer motorcycles imported from Thailand.

Exports of motorcycles decreased by 16.7% year-on-year to 76,573 units in December, with the value totalling 5.7 billion baht, down 18.9%.

Last year motorcycle exports fell by 20.5% year-on-year to 822,608 units worth 68.5 billion baht, a 6.9% year-on-year decline.

In the domestic market, motorcycle sales in 2023 increased by 3.6% year-on-year to 1.8 million units, with the internal combustion engine category commanding a 99.9% market share.

Motorists bought only 420 battery-powered motorcycles last year.

The government continues to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs).

The administration wants battery EVs to make up 30% of total car manufacturing by 2030, producing 725,000 zero-emission cars, 675,000 electric motorcycles and 34,000 electric buses and trucks.

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