Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit is stepping up efforts to make a car trade-in proposal a New Year gift to Thais as part of measures to increase car sales, which turned sluggish during the pandemic.
The measures are scheduled to be tabled for discussion at the Center for Economic Administration Situation meeting on Dec 2.
Among the measures is a move to stimulate car purchases, notably electric vehicles (EVs), through a trade-in scheme worth 100,000 baht for individual car owners. Owners can use the expense as an income tax deduction, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council.
Only owners of cars older than 10 years can join the scheme.
Mr Suriya said yesterday it has not been determined whether the trade-in will focus on EVs, but added: “EVs will become the future of cars.”
The minister believes the trade-in scheme will benefit the automotive industry and related businesses.
One factor for promoting sales of EVs is they can help reduce air pollutants, especially PM2.5 ultra-fine dust particles, with more pollution emitted from older cars.
“It is too early to tell about the scheme now,” he said.
The Office of Industrial Economics is working on the details.
The Industry Ministry plans to discuss the scheme with the Finance Ministry as well as carmakers to gather their views and comments.
Mr Suriya expects Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who chairs the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee, to announce the trade-in scheme as a New Year gift at the end of 2020.
He said EVs are becoming a trend, in line with the state plans to support and promote the industry.
The government plans to increase EV production to 30% of total automotive output in the country by 2030, or around 750,000 automobiles out of 2.5 total million units.
Mr Suriya said Tesla Inc, a California-based EV and clean energy company, plans to meet the Industry Ministry soon to discuss its investment in EV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology in Thailand.
On Wednesday, the US ambassador and businessmen from the US-Asean Business Council also met the Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss their business prospects here.
The executives said they will continue their investment plans in Thailand and called on the government to maintain momentum in tourism stimulus projects as well as work to ease travel restrictions to help get the economy back on track.