After sustaining heavy blows in 2011, the automobile industry finished the year at 794,000 units, which is about 100,000 units below the original target.
While the Japanese quake and tsunami in March temporarily halted Thai auto production due to parts disruption, it was Thailand's flood crisis that delivered the knockout punch as major auto producers had to cease production for months. Although Honda was the only manufacturer to suffer from severe flooding, other makers also had to halt production due to a shortage of parts as a large number of important suppliers located in Ayutthaya were submerged under water.
However, just three weeks into 2012, there are signs of prosperity once again as Toyota, the largest auto-maker in the country, announced its mid-term investment plan worth almost Bt10 billion that will help the company reach a production figure of 760,000 units per year. Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) president Kyoichi Tanada said Toyota expects the auto market to sell as much as 1.1 million units in 2012.