Chevy Captiva owners demand payouts
Roughly 100 owners of Chevrolet's Captiva model are calling on General Motors (GM) Thailand to pay them the 500,000 baht that was slashed from the model's price tag last week.
However, the local distributor has said it is not liable because the price had been cut to clear stocks. The distributor also insisted that the promotion complied with local regulations and that owners can still have their Chevrolet cars serviced at any of the 87 centres nationwide even after the automaker exits Thailand.
Chevrolet recently began offering huge discounts on three models -- Captiva, Trailblazer and Colorado -- to clear its stocks in time for its exit at the end of this year. The Captiva price was slashed by 500,000 baht, bringing it down to 499,000-699,000 baht plus 7% value added tax.
Natthapon Khankaew, a representative of the protesters, said they had bought Captivas when the model was launched in September last year, before GM announced it was exiting Thailand five months later.
"The steep discounts have affected the repayment of auto loans, renewal of insurance, resale price and depreciation," he said. Insurers have cut their coverage and premiums by 50% in line with the new price of the Captiva.
"Chevrolet is not being fair by bringing the price of the car down by 500,000 baht," he said, adding that he and his group want to end their purchase contracts with Chevrolet and lenders.
He also said the decision to exit Thailand can't have been made in a day or two.
"We wonder what GM was covering up and why it did not negotiate with existing buyers before making its announcement," he said. "Plus we don't trust the after-sales service once the company leaves the country."
On Monday, Chevrolet Thailand announced its commitment to provide a three-year or 100,000km factory warranty, genuine spare parts and other services to its customers.