Isuzu Motors expects Thai light trucks demand to fall 35% in 2020

27, May. 2020

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BANGKOK, NNA - Japan's Isuzu Motors Ltd. forecasts that demand for pickup trucks and other light commercial vehicles in Thailand is likely to fall 35 percent this year as the coronavirus outbreak dampens sentiment.

The company, which commands the lion's share of the segment in Thailand, at more than 30 percent, expects the country's entire demand for LCVs, mainly 1-ton pickup trucks, is estimated to be 321,000 units in 2020, compared with 492,000 last year, it said in an earnings report released on Tuesday.

The Japanese carmaker said LCV demand in the Thai market will bottom out in the July-September period of this year but begin recovering the following quarter.

Isuzu's LCV sales in the Southeast Asian country are likely to stand at around 100,000 units this year, the company said. Isuzu Motors Co. (Thailand) Ltd., a manufacturing unit, had temporarily suspended its two factories near Bangkok from April 13 through May 18 due to the pandemic.

The Federation of Thai Industries said in late April that automobile production overall in the country for this year would be halved from last year when it topped two million if the COVID-19 pandemic lingered until the end of September.

For new vehicle sales this year, Surapong Paisitpattanapong, a spokesman for the federation's automotive industry division, told NNA, "We might cut the whole-year domestic sales target from one million units to 500,000-700,000 units," which includes light commercial vehicles.

Isuzu Motors said it expects to sell 241,000 LCVs globally in the year through March 31, 2021, down 23 percent from a year earlier, according to the report. (NNA/Kyodo)