Auto production in all major ASEAN regions reported a decline in H1 2020 due to COVID-19 disruptions. Even in H2, recovery is expected to be slow as most countries have just recently eased lockdown restrictions. The World Steel Association’s representatives said the sector would need necessary structural transformations in the post-pandemic world. Domestic steel industries should be benefited by the duties on imports and exports to spur the demand in ASEAN countries.

 

In June, domestic activity returned to the normal in most ASEAN countries. Countries like Vietnam and Thailand have been able to contain the spread to a large extent.  

 

According to ASEAN Automotive Federation, the total vehicles produced in the ASEAN region (including Myanmar) in H1 2020 was 1.23mn units, down 41pc from the prior year. The combined sales dropped by 66pc or 291,889 units in Q2 2020 from 849,334 units in the same period last year.  

 

Production of vehicles in ASEAN in H1 2020
1,000 units20192020%
Thailand1,065606–43.1
Indonesia592370-37.6
Malaysia285166-41.7
Vietnam9258-37.7
Philippines4128-31.3
Myanmar86-20
Total20831233-40.8

 

Thailand and Indonesia, the largest producers of cars, saw a dip in output by 43pc (606,132 units) and 38pc (369,545 units), respectively, from the prior year amid low domestic demand. In Thailand, sales decreased by 37pc from 523,770 prior year to 328,604 in H1 2020.  In Indonesia, it dropped by 46pc to 260,933.

 

Although auto production in Malaysia witnessed a fast recovery in June with production rose by 21.5pc to 45,044 units. Total production dropped by 42pc to166,049 units in H1 2020.

 

The Philippines performed badly as sales plunged by 52pc on year to 104,496units in H1 2020.  

 

It is projected that Thailand’s auto production would decrease by around 37pc to 1.3mn units while car output in Indonesia is likely to drop by 43pc to 775,000 units.  

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