International News 01/04

April 01, 2024 No. 51

Car production in Thailand decreased by 19.28% in February 2024.

Car production in Thailand, the largest car production centre in Southeast Asia, has significantly dropped. In February 2024, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) recorded car production of only 133,690 units, a 19.28% decrease. This decline in production continues the trend seen since the beginning of the year, with car production falling by 12.46% in January 2023 on an annual basis. The decrease in pickup truck production, which is the main type of vehicle produced in the country, largely contributes to the decline in production. Additionally, FTI has observed an increase in the import of vehicles, particularly electric vehicles. Despite the decline, FTI estimates that car production will reach 1.9 million vehicles this year, followed by 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. Thailand continues to be a desirable production location for car manufacturers. Isuzu Motors has announced plans to use the country as the production base for its electric version of the D-MAX pickup truck. has raised US$10.5 million in funding for their work on the Circular Business Chain., a startup that focuses on the circular economy, has secured $10.5 million in funding to expand its recycled materials business platform. The California-based company provides digital tools that connect buyers and suppliers to facilitate the search, sourcing, and exchange of recycled materials. This addresses the challenges manufacturers face when adopting green materials, such as availability, price, and quality. Circular's platform comprises a database of post-consumer recycled materials, a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers, supply chain tools for testing and logistics management, and emissions measurement tools to enhance the value of recycled material usage. The company provides access to over 9,000 global suppliers and their technical records, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) for codification. streamlines the sourcing, procurement, inspection, and onboarding processes for its customers, reducing the time required for these activities. As of the end of 2023, the company had procured 35,000 tonnes of recycled materials.


H&M exceeded expectations and earned US$196 million in the first quarter of 2024.

H&M, the second largest fashion retailer in the world, has exceeded expectations for its first quarter operating profit. The company's new CEO, Daniel Erver, stated that the spring collection has been well received by the market and sales are showing signs of recovery. H&M's shares rose 12% after posting an operating profit of 2.08 billion kronor, surpassing analysts' expectations. Although sales declined by 2% in the first quarter, the decrease was smaller than expected. Furthermore, sales have already increased by 2% at the start of the second quarter, indicating stronger demand for clothing and accessories. Erver emphasised that the company's main focus is to strengthen sales and reiterated their goal of achieving a 10% operating profit margin this year. H&M has expanded its product range to include more expensive clothing items, such as leather trousers and high-end coats.