EV sales in Thailand to hit 50,000 despite auto loan regulations

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The Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI) anticipates a surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales to 50,000 units this year. This comes despite challenges such as diminishing purchasing power, rampant household debt, and the implementation of stricter auto loan regulations by banks.

Last year, local EV sales in Thailand saw approximately 20,000 units sold. The popularity of EVs in the country can be traced back to a series of incentive packages by the government, in a bid to turn Thailand into a regional EV focal point.

Last year witnessed the cabinet approval of incentive packages comprising tax breaks and subsidies to boost both EV production and consumption between 2022 and 2023.

Kriengsak Wongpromrat, TAI’s president, expressed optimism for the Thai automotive industry in the current year. In particular, he emphasized the EV sector, where he anticipates steady sales.

In pursuit of the robust potential EV market in Thailand, marked by high consumer spending, companies will continue to import new EV models in the latter half of the year. This will especially involve imports from China.

The president of TAI has also projected a rise in market share for Chinese EV manufacturers, as an increasing number of car buyers gravitate towards EVs as opposed to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.

Kriengsak revealed that TAI is currently in partnership with car companies, academic institutions, and EV engineers in training Thai auto parts manufacturers on EV-related issues. This initiative aims to accelerate their transition from ICE towards embracing electric mobility technology, reported Bangkok Post.

This education program is unfolding alongside efforts by the authorities to bolster the domestic EV industry. In the first half of the current year, the Board of Investment awarded investment promotion benefits to 14 manufacturers of battery EVs (BEVs). These incentives represented a combined project value of 33.9 billion baht, translating to an anticipated annual production capacity of 276,640 units.

Upon receiving the EV incentive packages, the manufacturers are obliged to establish EV assembly plants in Thailand, a move that TAI expects to result in the first locally made BEVs by the first quarter of next year.

Interestingly, as tighter auto loan criteria by banks caused the Federation of Thai Industries’ Automotive Industry Club to slash its 2023 car production target from 1.95 million units to 1.9 million, Kriengsak remains unshaken. He firmly argues that the revision in lending regulations does not necessarily spell out serious repercussions for the automotive industry.

Business NewsThailand News

Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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