Monday, May 27, 2013

Benz Thonglor orders shift into overdrive this year

Bangkok Post: Benz Thonglor, a leading authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz cars, has taken overwhelming sales orders for delivery at the end of next year, a sign luxury auto demand remains strong despite waning consumption in the first quarter.

Wasun Bodhipimpanon, owner of Benz Thonglor, attributed the massive orders to new models but did not elaborate on the amount of orders.

"The rosy economic sentiment has encouraged people to place orders. However, I am worried they may not accept the cars when delivered if the economy turns bleak," he said.

Martin Schulz, vice-president for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), recently said at least six new models will be introduced this year, in addition to the 15 models already available.

Mr Wasun said the most popular models have a price tag between 2.5 and 4 million baht.

Each customer who places an order with Benz Thonglor is subject to a 50,000 baht per-car deposit.

Mercedes-Benz sales volume through authorised dealerships across the country this year could reach 7,000 to 7,500 units, said a source who requested anonymity.

The carmaker's sales volume through dealers rose 34% in 2012 year-on-year to 6,274 units.

The National Economic and Social Development Board reported a lower first-quarter GDP than expected, at 5.3% year-on-year, weighed down by slowing domestic consumption and investment.

Monday, May 20, 2013

SAIC Motor-CP Joint Venture Agrees to Lease Ready-Built Factories in Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate

SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd., an automotive industry joint venture founded by China-based automaker SAIC Motor Corporation and Thailand’s CP Group, has reached an agreement with Hemaraj Land And Development Plc. over the leasing of ready-built factories, representing a total area of 17,280 square meters, in Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate. SAIC Motor-CP is planning to develop a production facility that will initially be capable of building 50,000 vehicles annually under the SAIC-owned MG English brand for Thailand and international markets.

Shown in photo: Mr. David Nardone (5th from left) , President & CEO of Hemaraj Land And Development Plc. exchanges contract with Mr. Nopadol Chiaravanont, (5th from right) Director of SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd. while Mr. Wu Huan, (4th from right) President of SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd., Mr. Sawasdi Horrungruang (center), Director of Hemaraj Land And Development Plc., Mr. Vivat Jiratikarnsakul, (4th from left) Hemaraj’s Executive Vice President and management of both companies look on.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

With 40 players and 10 teams, the inaugural Automotive Focus Group (AFG) Golf Day at the Pattana golf course even surprised the organizers with the depth of support for this event.

Not only was the event oversubscribed with enthusiastic golfers, most of whom were AFG members, but also the sponsorship purse far exceeded expectations, with companies such as Hemaraj Land and Development even offering 10,000 baht for a hole in one.  The excellent level of sponsorship also meant that there was more money for the charity raffle.

Sponsors for the tournament includes CES (Kevin Fisher, shirts), Marriott (3D/2N JW Marriott), Hemaraj Land and Development (nearest pin and longest drive), Amari (brunches at Mantra), Cromwell Tools (power drill and golf bags), AB World Foods (“Curry for a Year”).

The best team score on the day came from the Triumph Motorcycles (Thailand) Ltd. quartet of Jamie Looker, Russ Daleman, David Mills and David Sutherland.

Runners-up were the team comprising Sean Goonan (AB World Foods Asia Ltd.), Brendan Daly (Amari Hotel), Richard Jackson (RLC Co. Ltd.) and Branislav Balaz (KONE Public Co. Ltd.)

The Longest Drive award went to Peter Hamilton (Nestle) and the Nearest the Pin prize to Bic Gohil from the Ford Thailand Manufacturing Assembly Plant (FTM).

The big winner in the charity raffle was Manita Boontham (CES) who won a 3-days/ 2-nights stay at the JW Marriott Kao Lak.

(courtesy DOC IAIN CORNESS - Pattaya Mail)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tata postpones new Thailand factory

Tata has decided to postpone the development of the new facility in Thailand. Previously, Tata had announced it will enter the passenger car market in Thailand during the third quarter, when it will introduce the Nano budget vehicle.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thai Automotive Sales Statistics April 2013

FT April Numbers are here: A total of 67,641 vehicles were exported in April, up 22.02% on April 2012, but down 34.16% on March.

Vehicle output in April stood at 170,438 units, up 17.40% on April 2012, but down 33.49% on March, due to fewer working days in the month.

Domestic car sales over the month totalled 109,658 units, an increase of 24.91% on April 2012, but a decline of 30.39% on March. Car sales over the first four months of the year stood at 522,914 units, up 42.44% on the same period last year.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

FTI to revise export forecast

Bangkok Post:

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will this month review its full-year automotive export value target amid mounting pressure on car makers from the strong baht.

"The number of cars, 1.1 million vehicles to be exported this year, will remain unchanged, but export value in baht terms may need to be revised due to the continuing strength of the currency," said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the FTI's automotive industry club.

He said car makers have largely secured their international purchase orders through the end of this year, but the strong baht has put production costs on an upward track.

Local pickup truck output sees 80-90% local content and passenger cars 60-70%.

Mr Surapong said hardest hit is the pickup truck segment, regarded as the country's automotive export champion.

Thailand's automotive industry enjoyed a bumper year in 2012, with 2.45 million vehicles made, up by 68.3% from 2011 and lifting Thailand to 10th place among car producing countries. Domestic car sales totalled 1.43 million vehicles last year, up by 80.9%, while motorcycle sales rose by 6.11% to 2.13 million. Car exports increased by 39.6% to 1,026,671 units, a record high since Thailand began exporting cars in 1988 and making the country the world's seventh-largest car exporter. Export value totalled 490 billion baht, up by 42.7%.

The FTI forecasts 2.5 million vehicles will be produced this year, up by 2% from last year, with 1.4 million slated for domestic sales.

The FTI originally projected car exports to fetch the country 527 billion baht, but this was based on sales totalling US$17 billion at an exchange rate of 31 baht to the dollar.

For the entire automotive industry including parts shipments, exports were estimated at 887 billion baht, with parts alone accounting for 360 billion.

Last year, the overall industry generated export revenue of 710 billion baht including 220 billion from auto parts.

"Both cars and auto parts are expected to see export sales drop by 6% if the baht keeps hovering around 29 to the dollar this year," said Mr Surapong.

Takayuki Kimura, the president of Nissan Motor (Thailand), said currency risk is also prompting his company to evaluate its export value target.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toyota Yaris production to be moved to Indonesia...

A recent report revealed that Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has plans to build the next-gen Yaris hatchback later this year at the Toyota Karawang plant in West Java, Indonesia. The reason is quite simple; Toyota Thailand will build the new Eco-Car products, so the Yaris production base should be moved to Indonesia.

Read the article on THECARDRIVING here.