One-tonne pickup truck sales are expected to bounce back into positive territory next year after ending 2013 with estimated sales of 500,000 vehicles, down by 24.9% from 666,106 last year.
Hiroshi Nakagawa, the president of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Co, the local pickup distribution arm of Japan's Isuzu Motors, said he expects sales to surpass 500,000 vehicles in 2014, helped by higher crop prices.
However, he admitted next year's figures are unlikely to reach the highs of 2012, which were spurred on by the government's first-time car buyer programme.
In the first nine months of this year, domestic sales of one-tonne pickup trucks reached 448,074 vehicles, down by 6.81% year-on-year, while passenger car sales totalled 497,852, up by 10.3%.
For the period, one-tonne pickup production totalled 1.04 million vehicles, down by 1.92% year-on-year.
Last year, pickup production rose by 61.5% to 1.45 million vehicles.
Tri Petch pegs Thailand's overall vehicle sales at 1.25 million vehicles this year, down by 13.8% from last year.
It foresees its own sales at 180,000 vehicles this year, down from 220,000 in 2012.
In a related development, Isuzu yesterday introduced its new passenger pickup vehicle dubbed the MU-X, an update from the MU-7 launched in 2005.
The MU-X is powered by 2.5- and three-litre diesel engines, with prices starting at 1.01 and 1.4 million baht, respectively.
Isuzu aims for annual domestic sales of 20,000 vehicles.
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