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Thailand 1999-2001: Isuzu Faster Z reigns supreme in slowly recovering market

The Isuzu Faster Z was also called Golden Power, Dragon Eyes or Dragon Power in Thailand over the period.

The Thai new vehicle market wakes up from its financial crisis torpor with a 53.6% year-on-year surge in 1999 leading to 212.974 sales, albeit less than half the high of 547.000 sales reached in 1996. 3 of the Top 4 carmakers outpace the market: Toyota (+74.2%) almost hits 35% share, Isuzu (+66.8%) and Nissan (+66.3%) with Honda (+48.6%) just under the market growth at #3 but Mitsubishi (+17.5%) franking under-performing. Peugeot (+109%) brilliantly breaks into the Thai Top 10 for the first time since BSCB started following this market annually in 1990, with Ford (+99.5%) and BMW (+84.7%) also posting stellar gains in the Top 10 but Mazda (-29.6%) signing the only drop. Model-wise, the Isuzu Faster Z (+67.8%) easily holds onto the top spot above the Toyota Hilux (+75.9%) at 20.5% share vs. 16.7%, with the Mitsubishi L200 (+16.3%) closing up a podium 100% pickup truck. The Toyota Sport Rider (+119.4%) shoots up to #4, distancing the Toyota Soluna (+44%) remaining the #1 passenger car above the Honda City (+56.6%) and Toyota Corolla (+80.4%). The Nissan Big M (+46.7%) and new Ford Ranger (+433.5%) make it 5 pickups in the Top 9.

In 2000, sales continue their recovery at +19.6% to 254.787 units, but brand leader Toyota (-4%) hits the brakes to 28% share just as Isuzu (+9.4%) also drops to 22%. In contrast, the remainder of the Top 10 brands all outpace the market with Mercedes (+125.7%), Ford (+113.8%), Mazda (+87.8%), Mitsubishi (+62.9%), Nissan (+42.6%), Volvo (+30.6%) and BMW (+29.6%) the most dynamic. The Isuzu Faster Z (-1.9%) is the #1 model for the 5th year running and the 9th time in the past 10 years, widening the gap with the Toyota Hilux (-9.7%), both models going against the positive grain. The Mitsubishi L200 (+86.1%), Ford Ranger (+101.8%) and Nissan Big M (+37.4%) ensure the Top 5 is 100% pickups. The Toyota Soluna (+18%) remains the dominant passenger car ahead of the Honda City (+27.2%) and Toyota Corolla (+6.4%).

It’s a third consecutive year of double-digit gains in Thailand in 2001 at +14.2% but the market can’t seem to be able to return to its past glory, with the 291.050 units managed this year paling in comparison to the record of 547.000 hit in 1996. For once Toyota (+17.1%), Isuzu (+22.7%) and Honda (+28.8%) all outpace the market to cement their domination, with Nissan (+12.2%) and Mitsubishi (-16.3%) falling by the wayside. Chevrolet (+58.3%), Mercedes (+57.3%) and BMW (+33.5%) are the most dynamic in the Top 10. The Isuzu Faster Z (+28.6%) comfortably remains atop the models ranking with 18.9% share vs. just 13.2% for the Toyota Hilux (+19.1%) while the Toyota Corolla (+95.9%) almost doubles its sales year-on-year to climb onto the podium for the first time since BSCB started following this market annually in 1990. The Nissan Big M (+35.3%), Mitsubishi L200 (-23.2%) and Ford Ranger (+7.2%) ensure there are 5 pickups in the Top 6.

Previous post: Thailand 1996-1998: Market implodes -75%, Isuzu Faster Z back to #1, Toyota launches Soluna and Sport Rider

Full Year 1999, 2000 and 2001 Top 30 All-brands and Top 145 All-Models vs. Full previous year rankings below.

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