Thai Auto Industry Healthy as Motor Expo Closes

Toyota Thailand, which collates national sales for the industry, said at the beginning of the year it expected 2017 sales to rise 4.1% to 800,000, but Mazda executive Atsushi Yasumoto says 840,000 are possible.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

December 15, 2017

2 Min Read
CX5 headlined Mazda exhibit at Thai auto show
CX-5 headlined Mazda exhibit at Thai auto show.

The annual Thailand International Motor Expo closes with a confident Mazda predicting national vehicle sales will top 840,000 units this year.

Mazda Thailand Executive Vice President Atsushi Yasumoto says the Thai auto industry’s situation has improved in the past 10 months because of a number of positive factors.

As the show was beginning, Yasumoto said Mazda sees the 840,000 total possible after higher growth than many had anticipated at the start of the year.

Toyota Thailand, which collates national sales for the industry, said at the beginning of the year it expected 2017 sales to rise 4.1% to 800,000 units.

Yasumoto said the Motor Expo helps boost sales as the various brands offer attractive sales promotions.

“In addition, the Thai government’s economic stimulus packages throughout the year also contribute to setting a favorable atmosphere making it easier for customers to purchase a vehicle,” he said in a statement.

The expo attracted 1,191,718 visitors last year and this year’s edition had 35 manufacturers from nine countries.

The Mazda exhibit at the Motor Expo was led by the all-new CX-5 CUV. Also on stage was the MX-5 RF roadster, CX-3 CUV, Mazda3 compact car, Mazda2 subcompact car and the BT-50 PRO pickup truck.

Meantime, the Bangkok Post English-language newspaper reported Mazda plans for all its cars and utility vehicles to come with mild-hybrid technology from 2020, if it can resolve issues with Thailand’s automotive excise taxation.

Mazda plans to upgrade its manufacturing plant in Rayong to deal with more capacity and new powertrain technologies. The problem is the government definition of hybrid-powered cars.

It seems semi-electrified vehicles need to have a 60V battery to enjoy a 10% excise rate if they meet the maximum carbon-dioxide-emissions level of 100 g/km.

The newspaper quoted a source as saying Mazda wants to start its electrification path with mild hybrids featuring a 48V unit. But this means it would not meet the hybrid definition and would face the standard car-excise rate of 30%, and 14% for Ecocar II models.

In the midterm, Mazda wants to make mild hybrid a standard feature in all its models except for the BT-50 pickup.

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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