Bangkok, July 9, 2018 — Mazda is planning to offer hybrid and Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in Thailand during the coming years, but not electric vehicles (EVs), executives said during a press conference today.
While rival companies like Nissan are going all-out in its EV product drive in Thailand, Mazda is taking a more conservative position. The company do have plans to offer EV models in developed markets such as Europe, Japan and California, but unfortunately not in Thailand.
Mazda executives said in order to fully benefit from EV usage, the electricity needs to come from an eco-friendly source with minimal effect on the environment.
Most of Thailand’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal, with a small percentage of hydroelectricity.
“But we will definitely be offering hybrids and plugins, which are capable of offering pure EV mode,” said Thee Permpongpanth, vice president at Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co Ltd.
Mazda has been highly successful in the Thai market in recent years and just achieved record ales during the first 6 months of this year. The company sold 33,593 vehicles during this period for a growth of 41 per cent, and has raised its annual target to 65,000 units.
Company president Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk said last year Mazda sold a total of 51,355 vehicles in Thailand, achieving growth of 21 per cent while the company’s market share reached 5.9 per cent.
“It was higher than our expectations,” he said. “During the first 6 months of 2017, we sold 23,893 vehicles and had a 5.8-per cent market share. But during the first 6 months of this year, we have already sold 33,593 units and grew by 41 per cent and market share reached 6.9 per cent.”
The Mazda2 remains highly popular in the market with sales of 21,741 units, growing by 52 per cent and claiming the No.1 position in the small car segment, Mazda said.
Sales of other Mazda models are as follows – CX-5 (4,399 units, 179 per cent growth), BT-50 PRO (3,254 units, 5 per cent growth), Mazda3 (2,621 units, 2 per cent decrease), CX-3 (1,562 units, 30 per cent decrease) and MX-5 (16 units, 60 per cent growth).
Meanwhile, introduction of the new Mazda Corporate Identity (MCI) has been 50 per cent completed countrywide (62 showrooms) and the target for this year is 90 per cent. Mazda presently has 134 showrooms with a goal to reach 140 showrooms by the end of this year.
Thee added: “We will go ahead at full steam with a different kind of marketing strategy, whether in terms of sales promotion, organizing roadshows in Bangkok and upcountry, online marketing activities and new model launches including the new Mazda CX-3 Model Year 2018 on July 20. In addition Mazda will concentrate in continuously improving our after sales service capability in order to secure our customers.”
He said customer behavior has changed dramatically in the present day, and more Thai customers are being engaged in online purchasing.
“The obvious reason is convenience but there is also the price factor, product variety and privacy,” Thee said. “Today consumers are capable of easily obtaining information regarding products and vendors on the internet. Products mostly range from small items to medium-sized ones, but presently large items such as automobiles are being purchased online as well.”
He said Mazda makes it a point to offer attractive sales promotion at major motor sales events, including the Bangkok International Motor Show, FAST Auto Show, Bangkok Auto Salon, BIG Motor Sales and the Thailand International Motor Expo, along with smaller shows in the provinces as well as mini motor shows in department stores, plus annual fairs such as the Red Cross Fair.