Chevrolet feeling upbeat about its prospects in the Kingdom for 2008
US carmaker General Motors (GM) believes Thailand's general election was the precursor to an upturn in the economy, and the company will maintain its aggressive marketing plans for this year.
Published on January 2, 2008
Steve Carlisle, president of subsidiary GM Southeast Asia Operations Co, told a recent year-end Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) dealers' conference that Chevrolet - a GM brand - had done well this year.
"Although we have been through a challenging year overall, we are quite happy with the outcome," he said.
"We're optimistic that the economy will continue to improve after the election. It is plausible that the upturn we're seeing now is an early reflection of that consumer optimism. However, it does not mean we can stop being aggressive in the coming year.
"What's important for us in 2008 is that Chevrolet continues to offer our Thai customers the safest, highest-quality vehicles at prices they can afford. We will continue to focus on customer satisfaction and after-sales service. We recognise that providing an environment where customers feel welcome, comfortable and secure is critical to our long-term success."
At the same conference, Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) said it had achieved impressive results last year despite the challenging economic conditions.
It has held onto the No-5 spot in overall market share and No-3 spot in sales of passenger cars for the third consecutive year.
The company's sales have increased since last July, coinciding with the national economic upturn. Chevrolet is already sold out of 2007 Aveos and Colorados and is seeing strong demand for the popular Captiva sport-utility vehicle. In addition, the CNG-fuelled Optra is fully booked to the end of this moth. By the end of 2007, Chevrolet's local dealer network was expected to have grown to more than 100 showrooms across the Kingdom.
"This is quite an accomplishment in any year and even more impressive when we look at the circumstances in which we found ourselves back in June," said John Thomson, vice president for sales, marketing and after-sales.
"The CNG-fuelled Optra has been more successful than we ever imagined. If petrol prices remain high, we expect this segment to skyrocket in 2008. We'll be increasing our output of locally assembled CNG Optras next year to keep up with demand."
This year, the company will continue to focus on its customer-centric strategies by promoting more value-added services, such as Chevy Mobile Service, 24-hour Roadside Assistance, Go Fast Express Service and Chevy OK used cars. These services complement and improve the Chevrolet ownership experience, he said.
Chevrolet will also open a new training centre in Nonthaburi this year for sales staff and technicians, doubling the size of its current facility. The company is also working with five technical universities upcountry to develop its human resources.