The US-based auto remarketing firm Manheim Asia Pacific expects the number of used cars in Thailand will rise significantly to more than 2.5 million this year, mainly because of the government's first-time car buyer scheme.
Growing supply of used vehicles will not affect the local auto market much in the long run because people’s consumption would soon return to normal, says Mr Moran. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
The scheme, which ended last year, gave a big boost to car sales, with an estimated 1.4 million sold.
But some car buyers are expected to be unable to meet their loan repayments to financial institutions in the current stiff economy, resulting in more used cars entering the market.
In Thailand, about 20% of car buyers pay cash for new vehicles, with the rest taking out loans.
Manheim vice-president and director Simon Moran said the state programme would increase the number of used cars by about 19% from 2.1 million reported last year.
The company, a subsidiary of Manheim Auctions, expects many cars for which buyers cannot service loans will also go to auction companies.
Mr Moran said an increase in supply of used vehicles would not have any great impact on the local auto market in the long run because people's consumption would soon return to normal.
Low interest rates are helping the sales of new cars.
Mr Moran said Thailand's car market is healthy with a 1:2.5 ratio of new cars to used cars.
The scenario is better than in the US and Britain, where used cars account for 75% of the market.
Mr Moran said Manheim expects the increase in used cars will prop up auto remarketing significantly, with the number of cars rising from 24,000 to 30,000 this year.
Manheim has online auctions every Wednesday in Bangkok, Phitsanulok, Surat Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima handling 700 vehicles per week _ 400 cars, 150 crashed cars and 150 motorcycles.