Honda Automobile (Thailand) remains upbeat about achieving this year's sales target despite the country's overall car sales expected to decline to 1.2 million vehicles from 1.43 million last year.
Executive vice-president Pitak Pruittisarikorn said Thai automotive demand will return to normal in the second half of this year, with average monthly sales of between 50,000 and 90,000 units.
Honda said Thailand's overall first-half car sales rose by 23.1% year-on-year to 739,126 vehicles thanks mainly to accelerated delivery of cars booked under the first-time car buyer scheme.
The company itself reported first-half sales of 131,458 units, up by 172% year-on-year.
Honda's full-year sales target for 2013 is 200,000 vehicles in Thailand, up by 16.8% from last year.
Mr Pitak said Honda also expects strong sales from export this year at 62,000 vehicles, up by 21%.
Honda in May announced it would spend 20.1 billion baht to build a new factory and expand its existing facility to tap strong domestic and export demand.
Of that amount, 17.2 billion baht will be used to build the assembly and engine plant in Prachin Buri province.
The factory, to be located in that province's Rojana Industrial Park, will have annual production capacity of 120,000 cars, mainly the City and Jazz subcompacts.
Construction is set to start any day now, with operations due to commence in 2015.
The Thai unit of Japan's third-largest car maker will also spend the other 2.9 billion baht to increase annual production capacity at its Ayutthaya factory by 25% to 300,000 vehicles.
The Ayutthaya expansion and the new Prachin Buri factory will boost Honda's annual production capacity in Thailand to 420,000 vehicles in 2015.
Mr Pitak said Honda will also open 25 more showrooms and service centres nationwide this year for a total of 200.
About the author
- Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter