Thailand's vehicle sales reached 1,436,335 units
last year, up 81 per cent, boosted by tax waivers for first-time
buyers, industry sources said Monday.
Kyoici Tanada, president of Toyota Motor Thailand Company, attributed the surge to strong economic growth in 2012, a backlog in orders after the 2011 floods that knocked out several car factories for months, and to the government's so-called first car scheme.
The scheme, one of the populist policies that won the Pheu Thai Party the 2011 general election, offers tax rebates of up to 100,000 baht (3,360 dollars) for first-time vehicle buyers.
The waiver ended on December 31, leading to a surge in car sales before the deadline and "a new highest record in Thailand" for the year, Tanada said.
Toyota, the traditional market leader in Thailand, sold 516,086 vehicles in the country last year, a 78-per-cent annual increase, and exported 405,892 units from its production units in the kingdom, up 62 per cent.
Tanada predicted a slowdown in domestic sales in 2013 to about 1.2 million units.
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