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Southeast Asian auto sales climb 6% to new heights in 2018

But slowdown seen on trade-war fallout and rising interest rates

A motor show held near Bangkok in November. New-car sales in Southeast Asia increased for a third straight year in 2018. (Photo by Hiroshi Kotani)

BANGKOK -- Sales of new cars in Southeast Asia's six major markets increased for a third straight year in 2018, rising 6% and breaking the previous record set in 2013.

Thailand marked a 20% jump in sales to 1.04 million units on the back of a robust economy. Automakers competed fiercely in the second-largest car market in the region to lure consumers with low-interest financing and other enticements.

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