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Vehicle production is forecast to reach 2.15 million units in 2015, up from last year’s 1.88 million units, Surapong Paisitpatnapong, spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries’ (FTI) Automotive Industry Club, told Steel First on Thursday February 26.

FTI, which approved the projections on Wednesday, also expects domestic sales and exports to fare better this year, albeit slightly, he said.

Domestic sales are forecast to reach 950,000 units, which would be up from last year’s 881,832 units, while exports are expected to reach 1.2 million units, up from 2014’s 1.13 million units.

Thailand is Southeast Asia’s biggest car-making hub and is an export base for some of the world’s top carmakers.

Last month, carmakers in the country produced 166,400 units, up 2.2% year-on-year.

However, the auto industry continued to grapple with weak domestic sales into the new year amid reduced purchasing power, weighed down by high household debt and subdued income growth.

Domestic sales in January fell 12.9% year-on-year to 59,721 units.

Overseas shipments, on the other hand, increased 14.1% from a year earlier to 92,440 units, Paisitpatnapong said.