Chart : auto sales drop 30% in first two months

Auto sales in the first two months of the year dropped 30 per cent year on year to 66,446 units, according to data compiled by Tri Petch Isuzu Sales.

This is despite the 7-per-cent month-on-month increase in February sales. In February, the number of units sold reached only 34,361 units. (Nation)

Here is the chart, until february.


The car market can be volatile on a monthly basis. But… the pattern of 2 very low months is unusual.

No question about it : the recession is there. Even though the appeal of car ownership is very powerful in Thailand… consumers are switching to frugality. The banks might be responsible too (the credit party is over).

But businesses are another important factor. Sales of commercial cars are plunging.

Add the export drama to the domestic market… and it’s easy to understand the disaster the local car industry is facing.

Electronics, electrical appliances and automotive exports, which contribute 30 per cent of the Kingdom’s exports, suffered falls of 30 per cent, 33 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. [february]

Meanwhile, the Thailand Automotive Institute said auto firms had cut their capacity by 50 per cent in the first two months of 2009, when local sales and exports dropped by 25 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. (Nation)

It’s now a race against time. Actually, the main factor of the crisis is the time. Every day that passes with a drop in demand, a drop of the activity… leads to a compound effect.

The process is not linear. Companies can hold for some time, they can cut costs, adapt, use their cash, borrow… government can substitute itself (bailouts, handouts, loans whatever) but if the downturn is too long… then… businesses lay off, close factories… unemployment rises… people lose their income, consumption drops… lower demand leads to lower investments… debts and defaults are increasing, etc.

Can we break the negative loop ?

10 Responses to “Chart : auto sales drop 30% in first two months”

  1. 1 Lloyd 21 March 2009 at 8:37 am

    Hey at least the Thais aren’t as stupid as the French and lying to the whole world that the French automotive industry is so strong they need to move 400 jobs from a plant in Slovenia to France, from the BBC Website

    “A Renault spokeswoman said the company intended to increase production both in Slovenia and France and the shift was intended to meet a shortfall in capacity at its Slovenian plant.”

    Yeah right!

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 21 March 2009 at 9:37 am

    Well spotted !

    This latest “folie” from Sarkozy, the Obama-wanabee, is pure PR and buzz.

    On one hand the company says… it’s “temporary” ! On the other hand, Sarkozy says to Slovenia that it’s “not protectionism“… And indeed, production in both countries will increase. 😉

    And… 400 jobs…. Do you know how many jobs France lost in january ? 90 200 ! 90 200 people lost their jobs.

    So what the hell is this ridiculous story with 400 in a business that is… dead anyway ? !

    Can you imagine the cost ? Renault wanted to please Sarkozy. Sarkozy needed a small buzz in the media… so here we go : 400.

    A cheap version of the movie 300 ! 😉 “This is Spaaaaaaaarta Sarkozy !”.

    It’s of course total bullshit. Like Gordon Brown, Obama, Bernanke, Abhisit, Geithner, GM, Ford, Chrysler executives, Trichet’s bullshit… I mean you name them, the list is long : clowns but worse… dirty liars.

    Tiny Goebels.

    Politics is only PR now. Cheap propaganda.

    Cheap, so cheap, people are so gullible, so brainless, they can eat whatever politicians and media feed them with… like wild dogs. it’s gives the vertigo.

    What a fucking world.

  3. 3 reader 21 March 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Ive been reading this blog for a while now. You bring up a lot of macro events in Thailand that helps me understand what is happening there. But you always belittle all the officials – everywhere! Why is this? Why do you never offer any solutions? Its easy to trash everything they do – all they do is on display all the time and everywhere.

    Im not attacking you – I just want to hear some of your views on how things can be improved. It too easy to talk shit about the officials – surely you have more to offer?!?

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 21 March 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Yes sure. I have an extreme platform, based on :
    -and austrian school for the economy (Ludwig von Mises) + a touch of libertarianism

    In other word…. just plain common sense. But totally utopian, I know. 😉

    Philosophy and economy have to be linked.

    Everything is out there, look around on Internet.

    For the current crisis :
    -let die the zombie banks and financial institutions and other “too big to fail” companies.

    -write off all the virtual money on their virtual balance sheets.

    –thousands of members of the financial elite will be wiped out, because their debts are their assets. So what ? They have played. They have lost. No bail out.

    -return to sound money policy. Backed by gold, not backed by…. wind (“confidence”, “trust”) and the power of a few people who decide to press the button of the printing presses in order to hide their own limitations.

    -put the budget back into the box : stop the insanity of ever growing governement

    -flat tax for everybody

    -creation of a “living income” : every human being is entitled to receive a monthly allowance…. which is like the interests paid for the work and development, and wealth created by previous generations.

    -as a mean of balance (and financing)… break all the chains that emprison creativity and energy of many people

    -the deal is easy : some humans don’t want to work, to earn money, to produce things (artists, etc.) . Their choice.
    The society offers them the means to live the life they choose. But on the other hand those who want to work, are totally free. They are free to work to death, to become rich like Cresus. Their choice. The society’s interest.

    -it’s a new social contract. Put the free man back in the center of the society.

    Education, politics… we could continue like this for ever.

    We need a real revolution.

    And you have to acknowledge that not Obama, nor Sarkozy, nor Gordon Brown would be able to make such revolution.

    They represent the deadly, the rotten status quo.

    [the only decision of Obama that makes sense, that is revolutionary… is on the stem cells research of course. It’s a good decision. ]

  5. 5 ThaiCrisis 21 March 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Speaking about Obama and the orwellian doublespeak (look the definition)…

    About is insane budget of 3,6 trillions budget

    Speaking in his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama called the budget, “an economic blueprint for the future – a vision of America where growth is not based on real estate bubbles or over leveraged banks, but a firm foundation of investments in energy, education, and health care that will lead to a real and lasting prosperity.”

    You see what I mean ? Sure growth won’t be based anymore on real estate bubbles (because obviously the bubble exploded)… but what about a bubble… of debts ? !

    “Firm foundations”… on debts.

    “Lasting prosperity”… on debts. 😉

    You hated Bush ? Well… What do you think of Obama now ?

    Change… yes we can’t.

  6. 6 Bedwyr 22 March 2009 at 7:04 am


    “But you always belittle all the officials – everywhere! Why is this? Why do you never offer any solutions?”


    A good point, one which is made often-ish.

    There are 3 kinds of people in these debates. There are the builders-up and the knockers-down. Then there are the fence-sitters. The builders-up need the knockers down and vice-versa. The fence sitters generally come off the fence sooner or later and become either a builder-up or a knocker down.

    personally I am a knocker-down. I used to be a builder-up before I realised that no-one in a position to do anything was actually listening, for the very good reason that no matter how many times they fuck it all up, they already know all the answers and therefore do not need to listen to anyone. Especially in Thailand.

    This is the way it normally goes. You try to help but no bugger is listening – and they are not listening because they are not builders-up either but something quite else, they are the holders-on, and they are the mortal foe of progress. Most of them appear to live in Thailand.

    So I say knock down. nock it all down. Be as vicious in knocking down as the holders-on are in holding on. You wouldn’t build a fine new house on the wreckage of the previous failed building would you? Of course not, you would knock it down first and clear the area. Of course you would.

    So long live the knockers-down for they shall inherit the earth.

    It is only the foolish idealists who need to get out more because they haven’t yet had the bullshit beaten out of them that really believe the builders-up can actually achieve anything.

    Brahma? a wimp. Vishnu? a wimp. Shiva? now thats someone useful.

    Would you pass the wrecking ball please? The big one.


  7. 7 Lothar 22 March 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Face it boys. I know it’s so hard for you Anglo-Saxons.

    Capitalism is over. The idea of constant growth is a myth.
    The wealthy have enough and the poor do not have a chance to buy because they have no money.

    No it’s time for a new economic model – something between socialism and capitalism: called “rhine captialism” or “free market socialism”

  8. 8 George P Tuckeer 23 March 2009 at 3:41 am

    @ Bedwyre

    You’d make a good revolutionary and I’d be with you.

    Despite a strong pull from my constructive self, I’m compelled to agree with you. Except when you say “most of them [‘the clowns’ as TC politely labels them]appear to live in Thailand”

    Sadly, these clowns are pretty well distributed everywhere; the Thai clowns just happen to be a little funnier in a laugh-till-you-cry sort of funny way.

    That policy-makers aren’t listening to sound advice almost everywhere you go is pretty clear. To those who have ostensibly given up, mockery is the only weapon/refuge. That they mock with such spittle is a good sign that they hold out some hope and haven’t quite given up. Mockery is more than just cathartic, more than just a way to help us cope; it helps prevent even worse abuse.

    Even as I type, my constructive self pulls me back by the collar. My revolutionary self gives it a kick in the balls, but the annoying constructive response is that if I wanted to really hurt him, I should’ve kicked a little more to the left.

  9. 9 ThaiCrisis 23 March 2009 at 4:19 am

    “Free market socialism” sounds weird, particularly in Germany… “Social free market” I think is better.

  10. 10 Prokster 23 March 2009 at 4:35 am

    The trouble for most expats here is that it Thailand generally destroys the ethical, hardworking, entrepreneurial fair play seeking newcomer in a few short years. The only answer is not to work, or not to rely on the place for your livelihood. Then a far more peaceful state of mind can be created, and the good things in the country enjoyed.
    There is no hope of real change here in the near term, or not good change anyway.
    Maybe it will be October, maybe a bit later, but the current clown crew will bugger things up for themselves within a year, and the ensuing debacle will be ugly and economically debilitating….. My main bitch is the lack of any decent Tequila and Bourbon in the shops. A constant supply of Patron is needed for such exceptionally screwed up times.

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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