The Nation



Mazda says Kingdom's market recovering; sees total vehicle sales topping 1.3m in 2014

Thailand's automobile market is recovering and vehicle sales could reach 1.3 million in 2014, according to Japanese automaker Mazda.

Although the market during for much of 2013 faced a slowdown as demand was stolen by the First Car Buyer Programme that ended in 2012, it has showed signs of recovery, said Mazda Sales (Thailand) president Choichi Yuki.

"The large number of orders placed at the recently concluded Thailand International Motor Expo has helped boost the auto market and Mazda was able to draw as many as 3,150 orders," he said.

The political protests and traffic congestion caused by the demonstrations did not deter visitors to the expo, which was held at Impact Muangthong Thani, located near the Government Complex.

As many as 1.3 million people visited the event, slightly down from the predicted 1.6 million, while a little over 41,000 vehicles were ordered, slightly down from the anticipated 50,000.

"Mazda believes that from now on, the Thai auto market will return to normal and automobile sales in the country in 2014 will break through the 1.3-million mark," Yuki said.

In 2014, Mazda will be focusing on its new CX-5 crossover, which is its first SUV in the Thai market after the Tribute model was discontinued in 2006. Mazda has already received 3,300 orders for the CX-5, which is assembled in Malaysia and exported to Thailand tax-free under Afta (Asean Free Trade Area).

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