Thailand’s used car market is expected to keep growing thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year alone, it has grown by 20 to 30%, which is an increase from the pre-Covid years that saw an average growth of 10%. Pinyo Tanawatcharaporn, president of the Association of Used Cars, says normally the used car market sees about 1 to 2 million cars sold per year.
Now, many people who have been afraid to use public transportation, over fears of contracting the Covid-19 virus, have resorted to buying cars. On the flip side, many used cars are hitting the market after owners could not afford to pay for the installment loans as a result of the pandemic. Pinyo says those used cars were then seized by creditors, and remain in good condition.
“The used car market is taking advantage of the government’s lockdown easing and its plan to reopen Thailand. These factors have created good sentiments among prospective car buyers.”
Kasikorn Research Centre has stated that it expects used car prices to increase by 5.5 to 7.5% this year due to the pandemic’s impact, with the increase even higher abroad. But KRC says the prices won’t increase sharply because there is more supply of used cars after buyers saw their cars get repossessed after failing to make payments. Things like consumers’ low purchasing power, and banks’ strict loan approval processes also help curb the sharp increase of used cars. KRC also says used car prices will increase next year due to the recovery of the business sector’s purchasing power, leading to an increase in demand for used vehicles.
The Federation of Thai Industries’ auto club also says next year will bring an increase in the new car sales, with the expectation that it will surpass the original target of 1.6 million units by the end of 2021. The club attributes the expected increase to the decrease in Covid-19 infections and the semiconductor shortage situation improving.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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