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Audi officially announces new importer for Thai market

Audi officially announces new importer for Thai market

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017

GERMAN luxury-car maker has officially announced its new importer for Thailand, and aims to sell 600 vehicles this year through that firm, Meister Technik.

Finance tycoon Krisada Lumsum is spending as much as Bt1.4 billion to “rebuild” the Audi brand here, which was previously sold through German Motor Works Co Ltd owned by the Leenutaphong family.
Last year Audi AG announced that it wanted to pitch for a new importer that wanted to grow the business after talks with its Thai partner did not bear fruit.
Apart from not extending its contract with Audi, Thai Yarnyon also refused to continue its relationship with the automaker as a regular dealer, despite investing heavily in a new multimillion-baht showroom in Bangkok last year.
“We had a good and long dialogue, [and] they decided not to continue working as a dealer in Thailand,” said Christian Gussen, Audi’s regional director for Southeast Asia, Taiwan and India.
“With Meister Technik, we share a common vision, and Khun Krisada is great motivation for his team. They are open to new ideas and are ready to take [on] challenging targets.” 
Krisada soon impressed Audi, beating two other contenders to win the Audi import rights for Thailand under his company Meister Technik Co.
Thai Yarnyon will continue to service existing Audi customers until its contract expires at the end of the year.
A chunk of the Bt1.4-billion investment by Krisada will go to construction of the Bt600-million “Audi Lighthouse” in Bangkok, which will be able to serve up to 6,000 customers per year. Meanwhile, Meister Technik’s first showroom and service centre on New Phetchaburi Road is already operational, and can service 3,000 customers per year.
“Four more dealers are required for Bangkok, and Audi wants to have one dealer in each region – North, Northeast, East and South,” Krisada said.
Rival companies Mercedes-Benz and BMW have a much stronger foothold in Thailand, with local assembly. Mercedes sold more than 12,000 vehicles in Thailand last year, while BMW sold 7,010 cars here, plus another 913 Minis.
Audi is studying possibilities of local production for the region, but is happy with selling fully imported vehicles during the initial stage.
“Thailand is in a good position considering the products we offer and the prices, but we are also studying possibilities of future projects in the region,” Gussen said.
Krisada added: “We are offering a good product line-up with great prices, considering that they are CBU [completely built-up], and we are very optimistic.”