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The decline was due to sales returning to normal levels after a government incentive programme for first-time car buyers ended at the end of 2012, an official at TAI said on Wednesday November 6 when contacted by Steel First.

The scheme, which was intended to revive the domestic automotive industry following the devastating floods that hit the country in 2011, offered tax rebates to those buying their first vehicle.

Output for the first nine months of 2013 totalled 1.93 million units, up 12% year-on-year.

Domestic sales in September were down 28.4% year-on-year at 94,945 units.

This took domestic sales for the first nine months of the year to 1.03 million units, up 3.4% from a year earlier.

Exports in September climbed 16.8% year-on-year to 118,253 units as car manufacturers turned their attention back to the export market.

This placed exports for the first nine months to 847,341 units, up 14.2% from a year earlier.