Published: 20/05/2011 at 12:52 PM
Bangkok Post

The massive earthquake and deadly tsunami in Japan had affected the automobile industry in Thailand, Suparat Sirisuwannangkul, chairman of the Automotive Industry Club at the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said on Friday.
Mr Suparat said the car output target for 2011 could drop by 10% from 1.8 million units to 1.67 million, nearly the same level of last year’s total output.
This means that the car output for this year would drop by 180,000 units, or about 80 billion baht in revenue lost, he added.

The natural disaster in Japan forced car-makers in Thailand to cut their production capacity by more than 50%.
Mr Suparat expected the car-makers to be able to resume their full production capacities in July as usual. Whether they can do so depends on the sufficiency of auto-parts produced in Japan.
Car output in April totaled 89,179 units, down 48.15% from March and 15.16% from the same month last year. The output in the first four months of the year to April stood at 558,160 units, up 14.39% from the same period last year, according to him.
He said even though the domestic car sales for April would drop by 27.66% from March to 67,283 units, it was 17.8% higher than that of last April, boosted by the improving economy and the expansion in new model and fuel saving sedans.
Car exports in April went down from the same month last year by 8.66% to 52,151 units and by 39.05% from March, due to fewer working days in the month, caused mainly by the long Songkran holiday. The month’s car export value totaled 23.19 billion baht, down 12.28% from last April, he added.


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