Thailand's vehicle trade-in scheme put on hold, as government asks for project framework to be defined – paultan.org

Thailand’s plan to introduce a vehicle trade-in scheme won’t be happening anytime soon. There had been plans to announce the programme – which was first mooted in August by the industry ministry – before the end of the year, but the government said last week that more time and discussion is needed to flesh out the programme before it can be finalised.

As reported by The Nation, the call to hold back the introduction of the scheme was made at a Cabinet meeting last week. In his briefing at the meeting, industry minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said that work on the details of the scheme had not been completed. As such, deputy prime minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said that the scheme was not ready to be implemented, given the lack of clear details.

It was reported that the finance ministry had also not yet agreed to the scheme, since it had not seen a clear project framework or worked out proper financial support. The programme is proposing the introduction of trade-in coupons worth 100,000 baht (RM13,440) each to individual car owners, who can also use their expense to reduce tax. Only owners of cars older than 10 years will be able to qualify for the scheme.

Previously, it was intimated that the trade-in scheme, which will run for five years, would be open to all types of car models, but the most recent direction hinted at a focus on electric vehicles (EVs). Industry observers, however, were less optimistic about the take up for EVs in the proposed plan, cautioning that a predominant focus on EVs in the plan could result in sluggish response due to their high price.

The industry ministry said it would call in automakers individually for talks. Meanwhile, prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked relevant departments to undertake another study of the scheme for more clarity.

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