DFSK Thailand, the distributor of Dongfeng automobiles from China, has been appointed the official distributor of Italian company Lovato SPA, the world's largest gas-system manufacturer.
Under the agreement, DFSK Thailand will distribute and market Lovato automotive gas equipment in Thailand through the DFSK car dealership network.
DFSK Thailand managing director Pitaya Tanadamrongsak said the main product that his company would offer on the Thai market consists of two Lovato products. One is the Lovato E-Go LPG gas equipment for small petrol engines. He said the installation price (with the tank) ranges from Bt18,000 to Bt23,000. The other is the Dual Fast gas system for diesel engines, which is a new technology that allows CNG and Diesel fuels to be injected together (also known as DDF technology or Diesel-Dual Fuel). The Dual Fast will be priced (installation with tank) around Bt50,000 to Bt55,000.
Pitaya said Lovato gas equipment has always enjoyed “a high price point positioning in the market”. These two products, however, will be Lovato’s most recent effort to establish a more “affordable” and “comfortable” position for Thai customers while retaining its quality and image as a world-class gas equipment maker.
“We have been using Lovato gas equipment in our vehicles for more than five years. Every DFSK vehicle sold in Thailand has been installed with Lovato’s LPG system, and our customers have been satisfied with the quality. The penetration strategy for Lovato gas equipment in Thailand will be similar to that of DFSK vehicles – which is to provide customers with a high quality product at an affordable price and, of course, with a great aftersales service,” he said.
DFSK Thailand currently distributes its vehicles through 45 car dealerships nationwide. As Lovato’s new distributor, DFSK Thailand will appoint all 45 dealerships as official Lovato gas system installation centres. Since DFSK vehicles are already installed with the gas system, the technicians in all 45 dealerships already have the skills and experience.
“Currently, Thailand’s gas retail installation market is around 1.5 million units per year or approximately 5 per cent of the total cars registered (35 million). We believe that the market has an untapped growth potential because there aren’t many competitors and Thai vehicle sales are consistently growing in the long term. Our target for this year is to sell a minimum of 2,500 Lovato gas kits, and we aim to increase that by 300 per cent to 7,500 kits in 2015,” Pitaya said.
“We are building DFSK dealers into becoming local experts in LPG/CNG gas technology in their provinces. Since DFSK vehicles also use gas, it will only be beneficial to both DFSK and Lovato sales if our dealers are to gain trust and reputation locally as the solution to all kinds of gas-related business, whether it is installation or service.
“Furthermore, every DFSK dealer is required to have a standardised service centre. Thai customers now going in for installations in small garages should find our dealerships’ service shops far more trustworthy and reliable,” he said.