Local media reported that Mr Suparat Sirisuwananangkura, president of the Automotive Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries(FTI), has called on the government to extend its first-time car buyer program by another six to 12 months from the current expiry date of December 31, 2012. He cited a surge in orders that car makers haven’t been able to keep up with. Delivery dates currently trail order dates by three to six months for many models.

As a quick background, the excise tax rebate for first-time car buyers became effective on Sept 16, 2011. But due to the floods in 4Q11 hardly any cars were sold. Now with all the recent fairs at Bitec and Muang Thong Thani demand for new cars have surged and the auto makers are struggling to keep up.

The outlook for the Automotive sector is already extremely good—Toyota forecasts 38.5% new vehicle sales growth for Thailand even without the first-time car buyer program being extended into 2013 (the strong growth is partly due to production disruptions last year caused by the March 11 tsunami in Japan and 4Q11 flooding in Thailand), and from all the listed companies here in Thailand the only one that has proven to be adept at running their company is SAT but note the valuation is already quite stretched IMHO.

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