MGC-Asia morphs into a lifestyle mobility company
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MGC-Asia morphs into a lifestyle mobility company

Firm diversifies to maintain revenue growth momentum, writes Nareerat Wiriyapong

A Chris-Craft recreational boat cruises along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
A Chris-Craft recreational boat cruises along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

SET-listed auto retailer Millennium Group Corporation (MGC-Asia) is no stranger to business diversification.

Established in 2000, MGC began life as a dealer for BMW Mini and BMW Motorrad under the name Millennium Auto Group, adding car rental and repair operations with a maintenance centre, followed by investments in the yacht, finance and insurance, and IT and data centre segments.

MGC teamed up with SCB X last year to establish Alpha X, a luxury car loan provider.

More recently, Chris-Craft Corporation, an American motorboat brand with a 149-year history, appointed MGC as its exclusive agent for Thailand and other Southeast Asian markets.

With four business groups under its umbrella -- car retailer, after-sales and maintenance services, car rentals, and information technology and related services -- MGC-Asia now describes itself as a lifestyle mobility company.


MGC-Asia aims for double-digit revenue growth this year, thanks partly to the expansion of its marine business, said group chief executive Sanhawut Thammchuanwiriya in an interview with the Bangkok Post.

"The marine business holds great potential because vessel freight globally is expanding 7%, with North America the top market. Asia-Pacific is the third-largest market, led by growth in Japan, Australia, China and Southeast Asia," he said.

One of the main auto showrooms for MGC-Asia, which sells BMW cars.

The recreational boat sector has expanded substantially following the easing of the pandemic as lifestyles have changed to focus more on privacy.

The firm's yacht business is also set to grow as MGC is the sole importer and distributor of the Azimut brand, as well as the Chris-Craft motorboat business in Thailand and Asean.

Used car sales, jet rentals under the VistaJet brand, and air ticket sales through its agency also contribute to the group's growth.

"As the years passed, the company entered several new businesses such as a used car dealership, car service centres, insurance, car rentals, and information technology. We then added the luxury car brand Rolls-Royce to our portfolio, enhancing our reputation in the retail automotive sector," said Mr Sanhawut.

"Over the past 15 years, our business has enjoyed substantial growth, generating recurring income for the group."

Alpha X, which provides tailor-made auto financing for high net worth individuals, should also enable MGC-Asia to grow its revenue this year. The electric vehicle (EV) business represents a new growth area for the company as the automotive industry recovers, he said.


To mobilise funds for expansion, MGC-Asia debuted on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in late April, offering 25% of its shares to the public.

The company plans to use the proceeds to branch out into other sectors such as EVs, financial services, and luxury marine vehicles, targeting high-end customers.

Mr Sanhawut says that MGC-Asia describes itself as a lifestyle mobility company and he is confident that MGC-Asia can achieve a double-digit revenue growth in 2023.

"I am confident MGC-Asia has the potential to continue growing based on these new funds and a strong business ecosystem," said Mr Sanhawut on MGC-Asia's first day of trade.

He said the EV business is expected to expand, in line with growing environmental concerns among motorists.

The government set a target for 30% of all vehicles manufactured in Thailand to be electric by 2030, helping to prime demand for EVs in the country.

"MGC-Asia has started distributing EV models manufactured by BMW, Mini and BMW Motorrad, and offers after-sales and maintenance services for EVs," said Mr Sanhawut.

"This should serve the demand of our target customers."


In the first quarter of 2023, the company generated revenue of 5.36 billion baht from sales and services, up 837 million baht or 18.5% year-on-year, attributed to an increase in sales of BMW vehicles and Azimut yachts during the period.

A recreational boat of Christ-Craft cruises along the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok.

Net profit for the period surged 32.4% year-on-year to 81.1 million baht. The company had total assets of 12.1 billion baht as of March this year, with liabilities of 10.7 billion baht.

In 2022, the company's revenue soared 8% year-on-year to 23 billion baht, while net profit jumped 101% to 595 million baht as Covid-19 infections eased.

He said he is confident about the double-digit revenue growth projection for 2023 as Alpha X, which also operates auto and marine leasing and refinance, expects to expand its portfolio by 8-10 billion baht this year.


Expanding into other Asean markets should also support the company's growth momentum, with the Chris-Craft motorboat business serving demand for recreational boats in neighbouring countries, said Mr Sanhawut.

A recreational boat of Christ-Craft.

"Thailand and other Asean nations possess a strong boating culture and extensive coastlines, numerous islands and large bodies of water making them ideal destinations for boaters and yachting enthusiasts," he said.

"The demand for high-quality boats and yachts is growing in the region, with strong interest in luxury products that offer a unique and memorable experience."

Sixt car hire, the group's short-term car rental business, has established four branches in Malaysia and two in Laos, paving the way for further inroads to capture growing demand in the region.

Mr Sanhawut said once the proposed coalition government takes office, Thailand should regain the confidence of foreign investors, while stimulus measures can be introduced to improve the country's economy.

"Establishing a new government should help drive our company's business going forward," he said.

A recreational boat of Christ-Craft.

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