Mitsubishi Motors revealed the Northeast market last year leapt forward in double figures. Increased purchasing power came from positive factors of agricultural crops as well as the expansion of the East-West Economic Corridor project.
Nobuyuki Murahashi, president of Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd., said the Northeast area, which contains 19 provinces, had good expansion in the last two to three years. “We forecast that this market could reach 190,000 units approximately or, more than 75 percent growth. MMTh expected 13 percent market share, or about 24,000 units,” he continued. “The popular type is pickup rather than passenger car as the main purpose is for industrial and agricultural usage. Customers prefer the sturdy pickup truck with heavy loading and energy efficiency. Since we launched the new Mitsubishi Mirage eco-car, customers who trust in Mitsubishi durability easily accept Mirage. This year, Mitsubishi passenger car gets the increasing sales in Northeast while the pickup segment maintains good sales. Accumulated sales so far (January-November 2012) are more than 20,600 units, 6,000 units or 32% out of this is passenger car, and 14,000 units or 68% is pickup and PPV. The potential provinces are Khon Khean, Nakorn Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Kalasin.”
A press release from MMTh said, “The Northeast region is the potential area with high demand. Key factors are economic growth base on East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC); the economic cooperation between Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar on the 1,450-kilometer route across the countries. Thailand route 950 km is the longest distance in this project, mainly in Northeast. The project benefits many improvements such as four-lane road, logistic system, tourism as well as encouragement of new business investment at national level. For local benefit, there are some agricultural features transferred from other regions which are also fruitful and bring the significant income to Northeast farmers. Moreover, the growing tourism industry, hotel and shopping malls also affect to vehicle demand for both pickup and passenger car.”
“There were some official showroom opening ceremonies during these two months in Northeast supposed to make the population aware of its establishment,” according to Murahashi. For example, “Mitsu Mahasarakam, Mitsu Jor Hor in Nakorn Ratchasima and Mitsu Auto Car in Burirum. In the meantime, other showrooms encourage customer relationships by joining the ‘Mitsubishi Happy Day’ event. This activity aims to thank you the existing customers and impress the prospect for the long-term relationship. Regarding the registered vehicle number in the Northeast, we found that Mitsubishi portion is about 9.5% or the number 3 in this region.”
So far there are 40 Mitsubishi showrooms in the Northeast; four more will open by March whereas another four under construction showrooms are completed. Among these, there are 12 body & paint shops and eight Diamonds Used Car in order to completely serve the customers’ need.