The pickup market was heavily affected by rises in the diesel price, which now exceeds Bt40 a litre. Only 25,265 pickups were sold last month, down 23.2 per cent year on year.
Last month, Toyota sold 11,589 units (down 25.9 per cent for a 45.9-per-cent market share), followed by Isuzu with 9,669 units (down 4.2 per cent for a 38.3-per-cent market share) and Mitsubishi with 1,333 units (down 34 per cent for a 5.3-per-cent market share).
However, the passenger-car market enjoyed a surge of 29.3 per cent, thanks to availability of alternative-fuel models and the ability of cars to be converted for use with gas, such as liquefied petroleum gas and compressed natural gas (CNG).
Toyota sold 9,950 cars (up 13.4 per cent for a 48.3-per-cent market share), followed by Honda with 7,322 units (up 46.9 per cent for a 35.6-per-cent market share) and Chevrolet - which offers a CNG version of the Optra model - with 1,017 units (up 66.7 per cent for a 4.9-per-cent market share).
Meanwhile, the automobile market continued to experience growth in the January-June period, with 321,475 vehicles sold. Toyota was the best-selling brand, with an aggregate of 136,061 units (up 7.8 per cent for a 42.32-per-cent market share), followed by Isuzu with 71,191 units (up 6.6 per cent for a 22.15-per-cent market share) and Honda with 43,126 units (up 35.3 per cent for a 13.42-per-cent market share).
In the first six months of the year, 110,419 passenger cars were sold, reflecting a surge of 32.4 per cent. Toyota was the top-selling brand, with 54,018 units (up 24.1 per cent for a 48.9-per-cent market share). Honda was second with 37,500 units (up 41 per cent for a 34-per-cent market share), Chevrolet was third with 5,402 (up 42 per cent for a 4.9-per-cent market share), while Nissan was fourth with 2,649 units (for a 3.92-per-cent market share).
Tripetch Isuzu Sales said political and economic instability, especially soaring fuel prices, had resulted in consumers holding back purchases despite heavy sales campaigns by automobile companies.
Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Thailand executive vice president Vudhigorn Suriyachantananont credited the rise in passenger-car sales to the increasing popularity of E20 models launched at the start of the year.
They include the Toyota Corolla Altis and Honda Jazz.
"There is higher market demand for passenger cars, but rises in the diesel price, especially in May and June, has caused the pickup market to drop," he said.
Vudhigorn also said the rise in fuel prices had resulted in the highest inflation rate in 10 years.
This in turn has affected consumer purchasing power and sparked a plunge in the commercial-vehicle market.
"Fuel prices are expected to rise further, which will affect the economy, but the penetrative sales promotions by automobile companies, including attractive offers, will help the automobile market maintain its level of sales," he said.
The Luxury LS 460 is a wonderfully comfaortable car fitted with all mod cons, althoough not necessarily the most fun vehicle to drive.