The private sector says demand for cars is still high, given many people are looking for new cars to replace the flood-damaged ones.
Mr Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, President of the Automotive Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), says the club is still unable to assess the production quantity of cars in the first quarter of this year. He adds that many auto parts must be imported from overseas because several factories still cannot produce their own.
According to him, the car production this year should not reach 2.3 million units but it should be above 2 million units, due to the demand for new cars of flooded-car owners.
Only 794,000 cars were sold in Thailand in 2011; it was the first time in 10 years that the car sale in Thailand is lower than the figure in Indonesia by as much as 100,000 units.
The Labor Ministry has earlier estimated that workers in the auto part industry have lost their jobs the most as a result of flooding. Concerning this issue, Mr Suparat reveals that many carmakers are planning to invest more and will demand more labor in the field. However, he says the government’s energy policy worries the investors.
He urges the new energy minister not to impose measures, which conflicting with each other, for example, the measure to reduce energy consumption is going against the reduction of oil fund collection policy, which unnecessarily lowers the oil prices.
Mr Suparat also asks the government to improve investors’ confidence by adding incentives for the automotive investments.