Thai Auto Exports Up 14% in August

Increasing demand in Asia, Australia and Middle East

Auto exports totaled 32.90 billion baht (US$967 million), an increase of 13.9%. amid growing global demand in August, the Federation of Thai Industries' automobile section said.

"We are still doing well abroad. In August, there was expanding demand in Asia, Australia and the Middle East," federation spokesman Surapong Paisitpatanapong said. "Our smaller markets in southern and central America were also growing."

Thailand exported autos worth 240.33 billion baht for the first eight months of this year, up 27.8% from the same period in 2007.

Thailand produced 103,737 vehicles in August, of which 69,404 of those vehicles were exported.

While Thai auto exports remained strong in foreign markets, domestic sales continued dropping, particularly in the truck sector, the federation said. "We produced only 14,130 trucks in August for our domestic market, down 53.5% from the same period last year. The main reason was that our domestic sales have declined for four consecutive months due to high diesel prices," Surapong said.

Thailand has no national automaker, but has attracted foreign companies to the kingdom to become an important regional production base.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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