Car-centre chain to get B90m boost this year

The Phornprapha family, owners of the Siam Motors Group, and SBrand Japan Co will spend 90 million baht this year to expand their Siam SBrand joint venture.

Managing director Pranai Phornprapha said Siam SBrand spent 60 million baht in 2012, its first year in business, to open two paint and body repair shops _ on Srinakarin Road and at the Siam@Siam Hotel.

The company's services are based on technology from SBrand Japan, which is strong in providing quick, good-quality service at an affordable price, he said.

The firm plans to open three centres this year, possibly in the form of joint ventures with potential dealers that have their own good locations.

With joint ventures, the company prefers to be a major shareholder to maintain product and service quality.

More details on locations are not yet available.

Future growth will come mainly through franchising, with a goal of 15 branches by next year.

The existing service centre on Srinakarin Road can service 300 cars a month, with the sub-branch at Siam@Siam Hotel handling 80-90 a month.

Mr Pranai said the two existing spots are expected to generate 1.7 million baht a month this year, up by 10% from first-year operations.

The joint venture is aimed at capturing all segments of paint and body repair, from grey-market vehicles to general cars.

Mr Pranai said the company has reached out to grey-market operators to persuade them to refer clients to Siam SBrand.

Paint and body repair is always problematic for owners of grey-market vehicles, making them a good channel for the firm.

Siam SBrand has also approached four auto insurance companies including Viriyah Insurance about becoming partners and recommend clients to its centres.

"Our strengths are affordable prices, quick service and good quality," said Mr Pranai.

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Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter