Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), the German luxury car maker, will spend 200 million baht this year to raise production capacity in Thailand and 1 billion baht to add five more dealer and service centres nationwide.
Alexander Paufler said 200 million baht will raise production capacity at Thonburi Assembly Co auto plant in Samut Prakan, where Mercedes- Benz cars are produced, by another 2,000 to 3,000 units from 16,000 now.
Alexander Paufler, the president and chief executive, said the investment will raise production capacity at its Thonburi Assembly Co auto plant in Samut Prakan, where Mercedes-Benz cars are produced, by another 2,000 to 3,000 units from 16,000 now.
Mercedes-Benz expects rising Thai demand for premium cars from both the middle- and high-income segments, as economic growth is projected to continue at 5% this year, said Mr Paufler.
"We have to prepare our capacity for on-shelf products, adopt new technology to meet every segment's demands and strengthen our networks," he said.
The company now operates 29 dealers and service centres. The first new centre this year will be introduced in Nakhon Ratchasima at the end of April, with the next one planned for Hua Hin. Others are slated for Greater Bangkok.
Mercedes-Benz sales increased 34% to a record of 6,274 vehicles last year.
Mr Paufler attributed the success to new models that matched market demand, including the new M-Class, B-Class, SL-Class, CLS Shooting Brake, CLS and A-Class.
More consumers now buy from authorised dealers, as evidenced by rising interest in Mercedes-Benz Leasing.
He said customers also enjoy the reliability of after-sales service and privileges provided by its authorised dealer network under the "My Service" programme, which includes a three-year warranty with unlimited mileage, exclusive 24-hour Star Assist roadside service, genuine parts imported directly from Mercedes-Benz in Germany and a nationwide network of 30 authorised service centres.
Mercedes-Benz targets 10% sales growth this year, with at least six new models scheduled to be introduced.
Martin Schulz, the vice-president for sales and marketing, said the 2013 models will support Euro-5 fuel instead of Euro 3.
The company's first hybrid model with diesel, currently the E-300 hybrid with petrol, will also be introduced, he said.
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Writer: Piyachart Maikaew