Thai automakers face uphill climb in Covid aftermath


BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): Foreign automakers in Thailand have been hit severely by the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to changes in automotive technologies and consumer behaviour, semi-weekly business publication Thansettakij said on Saturday (May 15).

Among the major upheavals in Thailand's auto industry last year was American automaker General Motors (GM) pulling out of the country and giants Nissan, Mitsubishi and Honda undertaking restructuring of their organisations at the beginning of this year.

GM also sold its factory in Rayong to Great Wall Motors, a Chinese automaker, last year.

Foreign automakers in Thailand sold 790,000 cars last year, down 21 per cent compared to 2019.

Toyota Motor Thailand's revenue in 2020 was THB368.25 billion, down 13.16 per cent year on year, while the company's profit after tax slumped 41.82 per cent year on year to THB12.48 billion.

Honda Automobile (Thailand)'s revenue was THB206.70 billion, down 13.57 per cent year on year, while the company's profit was THB11.64 billion, down 8.89 per cent year on year.

Isuzu Motors (Thailand)'s revenue was THB169.45 billion, down 8.19 per cent year on year, while the company's profit fell 33.81 per cent year on year to THB10.37 billion.

Nissan Motor (Thailand)'s revenue was THB108.42 billion, down 21.21 per cent year on year, and the company reported a loss of THB7.21 billion compared to THB1 billion loss in the previous year.

The Federation of Thai Industries expected automakers to sell 1.5 million cars this year, of which 750,000 cars would be sold in the country and another 750,000 cars would be exported.

Even though auto sales this year are expected to be better than last year due to more people getting the Covid-19 vaccine, the industry would continue to be under pressure due to the third wave of the pandemic and shortage of materials, Thansettakij said. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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