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4 Apr 2023

Econ Digest

Thailand’s automotive exports face challenges as existing major markets shift to increase BEV imports


        The battery electric vehicle (BEV) market has become more promising and the increasing demand for BEVS in global markets has become a major challenge for Thailand’s automotive exports. KResearch is of the view that Thai car exports to the Oceanian, European, and North and South American markets may shrink by 2.5% as they shift to more BEV imports, which together account for nearly 47% of Thailand’s total automotive exports. However, the remaining 53% of the market share are held by the Asian, the Middle Eastern and African markets, which are expected to expand 4.2% YoY and help boost Thailand’s overall automotive exports. KResearch projects that Thailand’s automotive exports in 2023 may rise to more than 1 million units, reaching around 1,010,000 units, achieving a slight growth of 1%.

        However, maintaining the growth momentum of Thai automotive exports will be a challenge going forward. Although Thailand aims to become a production base of BEVs for export, the country may not be able to produce BEVs for export until early 2025 or 2026. Until then, Thailand may lose market share in some countries; therefore; an important issue to keep an eye on during the transitional period is to attract international automakers to invest in and produce BEVs in Thailand, in order to promote Thailand as a production base of BEVs for export in the future.

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