May 17, 2017 11:46 pm JST

Thai auto production falls 13% in April

Home market rebounding, but exports lack steam

MARIMI KISHIMOTO, Nikkei staff writer

BANGKOK -- Automobile production in Thailand shrank 13% on the year in April, weighed down by sluggish exports.

The volume fell to 120,473 units, the Federation of Thai Industries said Wednesday. This marks a third straight month of decline and the lowest tally in 64 months. In December 2011, the output dropped to 99,426 due to severe flooding that year.

After the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct. 13, Thais curbed their spending in mourning, but this trend is running its course. New-vehicle sales in Thailand have been recovering. Production for the domestic market slid 4% to 55,007 units in April -- a milder decline compared with March.

Exports have lacked momentum, however. Production for export decreased 19% to 65,466 units in April. Shipments to the Middle East, hit hard by low crude oil prices, slowed significantly, among those to other places.

Passenger car production in Thailand dropped 19% to 46,847 units. Pickup trucks, which account for about 60% of total volume, declined 9% to 71,545.

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