Japanese auto-maker Honda announced that it sold 20,463 passenger cars in December last year, achieving the No 1 sales position in the Thai car market for three consecutive months - from October to December 2012.
Honda’s accumulated sales from January through December 2012 reached 171,208 vehicles, up 104 per cent over its 2011 sales figures. This is the highest sales in the company’s history here – compared to the previous annual sales record of 114,056 vehicles achieved in 2010 – despite the fact that Honda managed full production for only nine months of 2012.
During the nine months after officially resuming full production at its Ayutthaya manufacturing plant (April to December), Honda reached a sales high of 168,473 vehicles. Sales grew at 213 per cent, or triple the sales figure in the same period in 2011 (53,871 vehicles) and twice the total overall market growth of 106 per cent. Honda enjoyed a market share of 30 per cent in the car segment during the same period.
The auto-maker’s significant sales growth can be attributed to the launch of 10 new models, six of which qualified for the government’s first-car tax rebate programme, resulting in the higher turnover, according to Honda Automobile (Thailand) executive vice president Pitak Pruittisarikorn.
The new Brio Amaze, which was recently launched, has received very positive customer feedback, generating orders for more than 20,000 of the eco-cars within five weeks of it being launched, he said.
“Last year was an important year and it was very meaningful for Honda. We had faced a flood crisis that obliged us to stop our production lines for more than five months. However, we were able to recover and resumed production in just three months. Since then, we moved aggressively in the market with a continuous delivery of new models to meet the demands of customers that have confidence in Honda and waited for our return. This was especially true for the Brio Amaze, with tremendous effort and hard work by everybody in all our departments to expedite its market debut five months ahead of schedule to meet the demands of customers who wanted to benefit from the Thai government’s first-car tax rebate programme,” he said. “The result of all this effort was Honda’s continual sales growth, setting a record for the highest turnover and putting Honda in the No 1 sales position in Thailand’s passenger car market segment during the last quarter of 2012. Last year was the year that Honda turned a crisis into an effort to struggle with an obstacle and return stronger.”
“As for the market trend of 2013, the first half is the time to deliver cars to customers who placed orders before the Thai government’s first-car tax rebate program ended in December 2012. The demand for models that were formerly under the first-car program may slow down, but demand for models in other segments will keep on growing, resulting from the launch of many new models by several carmakers. Also, with consumer confidence in the country’s economic potential, Honda believes that the sales volume for Thailand ’s overall car market in 2013 should be equal to or slightly lower than the 2012 record. Overall turnover is expected to be about 1.2 million units. Honda plans to continuously launch new models to meet all customer lifestyles and has set a sales target of over 200,000 units for 2013,” he said.
“In addition, we will be focused on improving service quality to ensure the highest customer satisfaction. Honda currently has 166 service centers nationwide, which is expected to grow to 200 centers by late 2013. Honda remains committed to carrying on with our corporate social responsibility activities as the “Honda Thailand Fund” (or Honda Khiang Khang Thai Fund) that is poised to give a helping hand when major disasters take place. We strive to create value and be a company that society wants to exist,” concluded Pitak.