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FTI says car sales next year will pick up

Optimism remains in the country's automobile industry next year although car sales this year has declined.

Mr Surapong Paisit-Pattanapong, the vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and also spokesman for the FTI's Automobile Club, said he remained optimism on the improvement of car sales next year.

He stated that the automotive sector expects 2017's figures to be better than this year.

New vehicle sales for the coming year will exceed 800,000 units which is a 3% growth when compared to this year, he said attributing one of the reasons for this to the first car scheme.

He said owners of vehicles bought under the 'First Car' program will realize that their cars will be 5 years old in 2017 and many will desire to change to newer models.

These buyers will account for around 30,000 new vehicle purchases. Also facilitating the expansion in the automotive market next year will be the expected improvement in the economy as a result of the government's economic stimulus packages with the resultant improvements in consumer purchasing power.

He said new vehicle sales figures for the first 11 months of 2016 show total sales exceeding 600,000 units.

November's sales figures however showed only 80,000 units sold which is the fallout from the slowdown in the economy and the delay in the state's budget disbursements.

The fact that many potential buyers had delayed their purchasing decisions to see what will be offered in the 2017 Thailand International Motor Expo which served to reduce new vehicle bookings for November.

The outlook for 2017 however shows promising with the Automotive Section of the Federation of Thai Industries confidently asserting that the 750,000 units target will be easily met.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)