Currently, there is a transition in the global automotive industry toward environment-friendly cars. Thailand as one of the world's leading car production bases has followed suit. Following the debut of domestically-assembled eco-cars in 2010, the country is now a leading environment-friendly car manufacturer in the region. Thanks to the government policy of promoting electric vehicles (EV), the Thai environment-friendly car market has exhibited substantial growth in 2018 with promising outlook foreseen in 2019.
In 2018, we at KResearch expect that the environment-friendly car market, including eco-cars, here will grow 37 percent and sales of all EV categories will surge over 75 percent YoY, bringing growth in the domestic car market to 18 percent, or equivalent to the total car sales of 1,030,000 units. The increase is attributable to easing regulations on auto hire-purchase loans, introduction of new car models bundled with attractive promotions and the end of a five-year restriction on people selling cars bought under the first-time car buyer program.
Looking into 2019, KResearch views that persistently high household debt and leasing companies' extra caution over their loan quality may cause domestic car sales overall to contract 2-5 percent to 980,000-1,010,000 units. However, EV sales are projected to grow 76-83 percent YoY because of increased investment by car makers and incentives from the government.