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Car sales fall 19% in August, Siam cuts growth forecast

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Sluggish demand in the domestic market in the wake of high interest rates and fuel prices affected sales of vehicles across categories in August, prompting the industry to ask the government for a fresh stimulus package.

While passenger car sales declined 18.6 per cent — its sharpest drop in 10 months — to 118,142 units, motorcycles sales fell, for the first time in over three years, 8.5 per cent, to 766,127 units. Total sales of commercial vehicles in August rose 3.9 per cent to 66,767 units from 64,248 units in the year-ago period, Siam said.

Siam has hinted it might further revise downwards growth projections for auto sales in the country. In July, the association had revised growth projections for the passenger car segment to 9-11 per cent from the earlier 10-12 per cent. With volumes going up by a mere 0.9 per cent to 752,440 units in the April-August period, these forecasts, too, are now unlikely to be met.