Thailand: Car production up by 15% in November

Thailand’s car production increased by 15% year-on-year to 190,155 units in November, the highest in 44 months, as the semiconductor shortage continued to ease, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

This brought total numbers for the first 11 months to 1.72 million units, a year-on-year increase of 21%, and close to the 2022 target of 1.75 million units.

More chip supplies followed a drop in semiconductor demand in the information technology sector since June, said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman of the FTI and spokesman for the federation’s Automotive Industry Club.

Manufacturers also received more semiconductors in September and October, according to the club.

“This is a good sign for the automotive industry. We expect car manufacturing to reach the target or even hit 1.8 million units this year,” said Mr Surapong.

th04The situation makes the FTI hopeful about additional car manufacturing next year, but the tally for December needs to be considered before a 2023 target can be announced, he said.

The Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 are still negative factors threatening to worsen the prolonged global semiconductor shortage, which will eventually affect car exports from Thailand next year, said Mr Surapong.

Sales of cars in the domestic market fell by 4.79% year-on-year to 68,284 units in November because of the impact of floods on consumer purchasing power.

Car exports in the same month fell by 11% year-on-year to 87,979 units, though Thailand’s car production for exports in November increased by 19.1% to 107,345 units.

th05The dip was attributed to limited space on ships that transport cars, as many countries produced more automobiles last month, causing them to scramble for space, according to media reports.

In the electric vehicle (EV) segment, the FTI expects the number of newly registered EVs to increase to 25,000-35,000 next year, up from a target of 10,000 units in 2022.

The number of registered EVs stands at 8,000 units.

Mr Surapong expects EV prices to keep falling, partly because of the development of sodium-ion batteries, which are cheaper than lithium-ion batteries.