According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) automotive club, Thailand’s automotive production is likely to plunge 37 percent to 1.33 million units this year and could drop even further to 50 percent (to one million units) if the pandemic lasts till June.
FTI has proposed measures to boost domestic car demand, including a car trade-in scheme, 50 percent excise tax reduction until the end of the year and a delay in enforcement of Euro 5 emission standards.
Under the car trade-in scheme, the government encourages motorist to purchase new, eco-friendly vehicles and turn in cars over 20 years old. An estimate of two million cars would qualify for the scheme, according to a spokeman for FTI, in an interview with Bangkok Post. Although the government may not be able to fund the scheme entirely, subsidies will be provided for auto companies. This is a bid to boost volume for automakers and prevent job layoffs.
Furthermore, FTI is looking into alternative measures to help auto parts manufacturers tide through the pandemic. The group is studying the possibility of repurposing and shifting domestic auto parts manufacturing plants to produce medical devices or aviation parts which are in greater demand following the pandemic instead.
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