Thai industry federation trims auto output forecast on trade spat, currency strength

22, Oct. 2019

BANGKOK, NNA – Thailand’s industry lobby group has trimmed its annual automobile production forecast for this year to 2 million vehicles due mainly to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute and strength of the Thai baht currency.

The Federation of Thai Industries cut the outlook by 7.0 percent from its previous forecast of 2.15 million vehicles, Surapong Paisitpattanapong, vice-president and spokesman for federation’s Automotive Industry Club, told reporters in Bangkok Friday.

The baht, seen as a safe investment against the U.S.-China trade dispute, has gained 7.4 percent against the US dollar since the beginning of the year, according to the data from Kasikorn Research Center.

The latest federation forecast would mean a 7.4 percent decline in vehicle output this year compared to 2018. All vehicles production rose 9.0 percent year-on-year in 2018 to a five-year high of 2,167,694 vehicles, Surapong said.

The federation also lowered its automotive export projection by 10 percent to 1 million vehicles compared to the previous forecast, down 12.3 percent from 1,142,733 vehicles last year.

Domestic sales are expected to fall 0.5 percent to 1 million vehicles from the previous projection, down 2.4 percent from 1,024,961 last year.