September 4, 2015 / 9:39 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Thai auto parts maker Somboon cuts 2015 sales growth target to 3-5 pct

(Adds comments on H2, industry outlook)

* Cuts 2015 sales growth forecast for second time

* But expects sales to improve in Q3, Q4

BANGKOK, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Thai auto parts maker Somboon Advance Technology Pcl said it cut 2015 sales growth target to 3-5 percent, its second revision this year, as domestic vehicle output fell to its lowest in three years in the second quarter.

The company forecast sales to grow by 10 percent from last year’s 8.08 billion baht ($225.45 million) in early 2015, but revised the growth estimate to 5-7 percent in June.

Somboon, a key parts supplier to Toyota, expected overall automobile production in Thailand to touch 2 million this year, from its forecast 2.1 million, Napatsorn Kitaphanich, the company’s vice president said during an earnings presentation on Friday.

Thailand produced 410,000 vehicles in the second quarter, which dragged down Somboon’s sales by 25 percent from the previous quarter, she said.

The industry is however likely to produce 512,000 vehicles in the third quarter, up 25 percent from the second quarter, Napatsorn said, which is expected to help boost the company’s sales.

Output is likely to touch 550,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, she added.

Overall automobile production is expected to rise in the next two quarters as carmakers focus more on export markets to help offset weak demand at home, Napatsorn said.

The company estimates domestic auto output to touch 2.2-2.3 million next year, but that would depend on domestic growth and other Asian economies, she said.

$1 = 35.8400 baht Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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