Domestic car sale for the first quarter of this year increased 15.9 percent to about 210,000 units compared to the figures of the same period last year, thanks to the launch of several new models and bookings at motor shows.

Mr Surapong Paisitpattanapong, vice president and spokesman of the automotive industry of the Federation of Thai Industries, disclosed on Wednesday that domestic sale of all types of vehicles for the first quarter was registered at 210,000 units, including 84,800 units sold in March alone, representing an increase of 15.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Sale of pickup trucks in March increased 15.9 percent to about 35,800 units compared to the same month last year when only 30,000 units were sold, thanks to the increased prices of farm produce and tourism expansion.

By average, about 70,000 cars were sold each month for the first three months of this year and if this trend continues, Mr Surapong predicted that the 800,000-unit domestic car sale target would be achieved compared to 768,000 units sold throughout last year.

Car export for the month of March was registered at 105,000 units � the highest in six months. Car export for the first quarter however dropped 7.25 percent to 284,000 units compared to the same period last year mainly due to demand slowdown in the Middle eastern and Asian markets.

However, car export to northern and southern Americas increased 142.79 and 51.39 percent respectively. Car export for the whole year is expected to reach the 1.2 million unit target.

Car production for March dropped 7.27 percent to 178,000 units compared to the same period last year, with altogether 485,000 units being produced for the first three months.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

By tladmin