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Mazda breaks record - again

Sep 06. 2012
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By The Nation

Mazda has broken the 7,000-vehicle mark for monthly sales for the second time this year in August, achieving record sales of 7,291 vehicles, up 87 per cent compared to the same period last year.


Sales of the Mazda2, Mazda3 and BT-50 PRO have all grown, particularly with the BT-50’s 229-per-cent surge to more than 3,100 in August, according to Mazda Sales (Thailand) managing director Choichi Yuki. 
Sales during the first eight months totalled 44,933 vehicles, up 61 per cent. 
According to Yuki, Mazda has been accelerating vehicle deliveries to customers, but there is still a good number of back orders while new orders are also increasing. 
“Mazda has been continuously coordinating with its assembly factory in adjusting production strategies as well as raising capacity,” he said. “We have invested Bt800 million to increase pickup production and have lowered the ratio of vehicle exports in order to give priority to Thai customers. However, this is not adequate to satisfy the increasingly high domestic demand. We have approximately 20,000 back orders, and the number is expected to rise further from today until the end of the year. This is because customers are rushing in to place orders and enjoy privileges under the First Car Buyer Programme that offers sizeable tax rebates. Nevertheless, we promise that every model and colour ordered by customers will be delivered to customers in the shortest time possible.” 
Mazda recently opened two new dealerships, and hopes to have 150 dealers by the end of the year, Yuki added. 
Marketing director Sureetip La-Ongthong Chomthongdee said the Thai auto market is enjoying several positive factors. They include a strong economy, the First Car Buyer Programme, an increase in household spending, increase in private sector investment, the arrival of the annual tourism season, expansion of the industrial sector, the reaping season for the agricultural sector and exports. 
“Mazda is preparing for the expected increase in the number of customers during these last four months of the year, and the main factor that will directly benefit the automobile industry is the large number of customers buying vehicles under the First Car scheme, particularly large customers in provincial areas. This has been made clear to our sales team, which will be prepared for the huge number of customers who are expected to rush in during the year-end period,” she said.  
Chevrolet sales jump 
American auto-maker Chevrolet achieved record monthly sales in Thailand last month with 7,331 vehicles sold, thanks to the introduction of new vehicles and government stimulus packages such as the First Car Buyer Programme. 
The previous monthly record for Chevrolet in Thailand was 6,301 vehicles sold in March. 
From January to August, Chevrolet sales reached 45,768 vehicles, up 118 per cent compared to the same period last year. 
Chevrolet, which earned the No 2 ranking in the JD Power Asia-Pacific 2012 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index) and Customer Satisfaction Index studies, sold 3,199 Colorados in August, followed by the Trailblazer and the Captiva, which sold 1,307 and 1,034 units, respectively. 
“The Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV and the Sonic sedan were launched in July and August, respectively, and both Chevrolet vehicles have received excellent customer response with a strong indication of positive sales results,” said Antonio Zara, vice president for GM Thailand/Southeast Asia and Chevrolet Sales Thailand. 
The Rayong-based GM facility recently produced out the first Sonic, which is expected to receive popular response from Chevrolet’s growing customer base in the Thai and regional markets. 
Meanwhile, Chevrolet sold 8,762 vehicles last month in Southeast Asian markets, a 107-per-cent increase when compared to the same month last year; while the year to date or eight-month total of 56,273 vehicles represents a 114-per-cent increase when compared to the same period last year. 
Ford makes best-ever sales 
Ford enjoyed its fourth consecutive month of record sales in Thailand in August, with best-ever monthly sales for the Focus and Ranger models. 
The company sold 6,175 vehicles in August, representing a surge of 131-per-cent compared to the corresponding month last year. 
The record performance also represented the first time that Ford has broken through the 6,000 sales mark in Thailand. Ford’s year-to-date sales through August have now risen 62 per cent versus the same period a year ago to 33,222 vehicles. 
Ford Asean president Matt Bradley said the carmaker’s product-led transformation has allowed the company to gain momentum in the highly competitive Thai auto market, thanks to models such as the Focus, Ranger and Fiesta. 
“We’re absolutely determined to continue building on this success,” he said. 
The Focus, which is packed with smart technologies never before offered in its segment, got off to an exceptional start in its first official month of availability, with retail sales jumping 368 per cent from the previous-generation Focus last year to 923 cars – representing its best-ever monthly performance in Thailand. 
Sales of the Ranger surged by 265 per cent from the previous-generation Ranger last year to 2,724 – also representing its best-ever monthly performance in the Kingdom. 
Ford Thailand sales director Wichit Wongwatthanakan said demand for the Ranger in Thailand continues to surge, with overall customer bookings now reaching more than 31,000 since its launch. 
The Fiesta subcompact enjoyed more than 50-per-cent sales growth in August to 2,437 cars., Overall Fiesta sales increased more than 31 per cent to 17,065 cars in the first eight months of the year. 

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