Toyota Motor Thailand president on Tuesday attributed a slump in first-half automotive sale to market rebalancing forces and poor politically-driven domestic sentiment.
"Compared to the first half in 2013, sale figures declined. This was a result of market rebalancing following the end of the first-car buyer scheme, as well as economic slowdown and political situation early this year which sent a pyschological impact on buyers," said Kyoichi Tanada.
Toyota today released the half-year domestic sale figures of the entire auto industry. In the first half, only 440,911 vehicles of all brands were sold nationwide, showing a 40.5 per cent slump from the same period last year.
Of total, 183,720 passenger cars were sold, showing a 47.8 per cent plunge. Passenger cars constituted the biggest number of vehicles bought under the first-car buyer scheme, which offered excise tax rebates. One-tonne pickup segment also showed a 35 per cent drop on year, with half-year sale of 212,024 units.
Toyota itself witnessed a 30.9 per cent drop, with the sale of only 163,997 vehicles in the first six months. Yet, exports in the first half rose by 14.9 per cent to 230,006 units, with combined value of Bt104.9 billion.
Toyota also revised down the full-year automotive sale to only 920,000 units. The figure represented a 30.9 per cent drop from last year.
"In the latter half, political situation tends to be more stable. Coupled with economic recovery, buyers should be more confident," Tanada said.
For the full year, the company sets to sell 333,000 vehicles in the domestic market, which will show a 19 per cent drop from last year.
It plans to export a total of 433,000 units for Bt196.9 billion, on top of Bt68.9 billion export revenue from auto parts.