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28 Apr 2022

Econ Digest

Chinese BEVs…accelerate entry into the Thai market, creating an advantage to gain a higher market share than competitors


        New supportive measures introduced by the government to promote the BEV market have substantially bolstered the Thai BEV market, making competition immediately more active. Led by Chinese carmakers, since mainstream carmakers are not yet ready to enter the market, they are accelerating to seize the BEV market shares through a number of strengths, namely selecting products to penetrate the market and setting attractive prices to induce more buyers. More new Chinese carmakers are expected to enter the market and make investments in the future. KResearch views that among the projected sales of over 10,000 BEV units in 2022, or up by more than 412.0% YoY in the Thai BEV market, Chinese BEVs will likely account for as much as 80% of the market share, up from 58% in 2014. Meanwhile, Western carmakers will hold the second largest share of the BEV market, thanks to their affluent buyers and the expansion of charging stations in the country. As for Japanese car companies, they have little time to compete for market share due to the slow timing of their marketing efforts.     
        The overall domestic auto market in 2022 will be plagued by an increased shortage of auto-parts such as electronic chips due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, causing global auto production, including Thailand’s, to slow down, especially for passenger cars that use more electronic chips than pick-up trucks. In addition, the rapid surge in oil prices has also led to a slowdown in the growth of consumer purchasing power, so automobiles, which are high-value commodities, may be the first to be affected.

        KResearch preliminarily expects that total auto sales in Thailand may reach approximately 825,000 units in 2022, up by 8.7% YoY from a low base of 759,119 units sold in 2021 (the lowest level in 13 years). This figure may fall to 800,000 units, an increase of 5.4 percent YoY if the Russia-Ukraine conflict situation worsens. However, if the shortage of auto-parts eases quickly, total domestic auto sales could be higher than the estimate. Pick-up trucks are expected to outsell passenger cars in 2022 because they face fewer parts shortages and benefit from the government measures to control diesel prices.

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