Sedan, hatchback sales overtakes pick-ups for the first time in Thailand, thanks to EV boom

Sales of pick-up trucks in Thailand have fallen behind the sedans and hatchbacks in the first seven months of 2023, marking the first time this has happened in the Land of Smiles.

According to data from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the nation’s automotive total industry volume (TIV) stood at 464,550 units for the first seven months of the year. From that tally, passenger cars (sedans, hatchbacks, and MPVs, as SUVs are considered a separate category) contributed 170,598 units, while pick-up trucks sold 169,994 units.

The Isuzu D-Max is the best-selling pick-up truck in Thailand.

Overall, TIV in Thailand experienced a 5.45% decline over the same period last year. However, the pick-up trucks category saw a much more significant 25.46% reduction, while passenger cars saw a growth of around 10%.

According to FTI Automotive Industry Vice President and spokesperson, Surapong Paisitpatanapong, the decline in overall sales largely stems from the surge in household debt in the country, now accounting for 90.6% of the country’s GDP. As a result, financial institutions are stricter when it comes to approving loans, while interest rates have also been on the rise.

The passenger cars category seemingly bucks that trend, however, and could have benefitted from the rise of electrified vehicles in Thailand, as a result of various incentives by the Thai government to boost EV adoption.

Full EVs in particular recorded a whopping 1,605% year-on-year jump in sales to 35,781 units in the first seven months of the year, while the plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) models also saw a year-on-year increase of 39.54% and 30.02% respectively. Sales of pure ICE models, meanwhile, dropped by 15.78%.

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That said, the best-selling EVs in Thailand are still mostly SUVs. According to data compiled by, BYD Atto 3 is Thailand’s best-selling EV in the first seven months of 2023 with 12,544 units sold, followed by the Neta V with 7,189 units, and the Tesla Model Y with 3,839 units.

The best-selling EV within the passenger car category is the Ora Good Cat, with 3,114 units sold from January-July 2023, placing it in fourth place.

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