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Minor International battles Marriott over popular Phuket hotel property in court

The Thaiger

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Minor International battles Marriott over popular Phuket hotel property in court | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MINOR International are trying to kick Marriott out of it's Mai Khao property - Booking.com
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Marriott International, the American international hotel company, has failed in its bid to secure an injunction in a Thai court to stop a legal claim filed by the Minor International group.

Minor International (MINT) says that its subsidiary MI Squared Ltd had filed a legal claim in a Thai court against Marriott International and the Thai subsidiary Luxury Hotels & Resorts (Thailand) for 570,605,134 baht. The claim is linked to the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa in Mai Khao, which is owned by MINT. In the statement, MINT accuses Marriott of “acting in bad faith” alleging “serious and repeated breaches of Thai law”, according to ttrweekly.com.

The complaint from MINT alleges that Marriott was openly competing with the JW Marriott Phuket through its operation of competing Marriott-branded hotels in Phuket. Claims are made that the Mai Khao hotel uses its facilities to promote Marriott’s other competing Marriott hotels. Another of the complaints accuses Marriott of forcing the JW Marriott Phuket to accept high volumes of low-margin business through the Marriott’s loyalty program.

According to the ttrweekly.com article, the legal dispute includes allegations that Marriott “misappropriated MINT’s confidential and proprietary information” to promote Marriott’s competing hotels and unlawfully benefit Marriott’s own interests at the expense of MINT. The JW Marriott Phuket remains under Marriott’s management for now but “the operating performance has been poor”.

MINT told shareholders total hotel revenue decreased from 920 million in 2013 to 876 million baht last year. Over the same period, gross operating profit fell from 409 million to 379 million baht.

(It should be noted that many of Phuket’s high-end hotels have suffered a similar revenue fall due to increased competition, competitive pressures pushing room rates down and, especially over the past 12 months, a shift in tourist demographics.)

Marriott International issued a statement to ttrweekly.com following a request for comment.

“Marriott International acknowledges that a subsidiary of Minor International has initiated legal action in Thailand against Marriott and one of its Thai subsidiaries. Marriott reiterates that such claim is meritless and should be heard in confidential arbitration.

Our Thai subsidiary recently secured an interim injunction in arbitral proceedings restraining MINT’s subsidiary from pursuing the action in Thailand. We subsequently agreed with MINT to suspend the Thai proceedings pending the final outcome of our ongoing arbitration. As we intend to comply with our contractual confidentiality obligations, we are unable to provide more information at this time.

We consider JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa has performed well compared to the market. The dispute will have no impact on operations at the hotel, which continues to offer guests with world-class service and accommodations, a beachfront location and eleven culinary options.”

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

Minor International battles Marriott over popular Phuket hotel property in court | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: marriott.com

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Consumer groups warn of risks in buying a new Chevrolet

Greeley Pulitzer

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Consumer groups warn of risks in buying a new Chevrolet | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Consumer groups are arning of risks in buying a new Chevrolet, as the maker prepares to pull out og Thailand - File Photo

General Motors’ decision to pull production of its Chevrolet line out of Thailand has prompted consumer advocacy groups to remind prospective buyers of risks. The Foundation for Consumers and the Office of the Independent Committee for Consumer Protection said yesterday that buyers “should be wary of uncertainty as General Motors will pull its operation out of the country” by the end of this year.

“Consumers risk being stranded with no after-sales services such as maintenance, spare parts supply and the quality guarantee of the product. They could face problems since the operator has announced the decision to end the production, distribution and all businesses in the country.”

The warning followed GM Thailand’s campaign that gives discounts of nearly 50% as the carmaker tries to clear 5,000 vehicles in its stock before the closure.

The two consumer groups called on GM Thailand to continue after-sales service for at least four years to show its responsibility for the products sold to consumers. GM has said the three year or 100,000-kilometre warranty will still apply on all models. GM Thailand posted a message on Facebook indicating its service centres will continue operating, but did not specify which dealers will continue offering service.

In addition to consumers, owners and used-car dealers who have the brand in stock are worried about their future. One Chevrolet pickup truck owner said he’s begun worrying about the availability of spare parts and maintenance. “I think I will have to pay more for them,” he said, though he added he would not sell his vehicle due to its quality.

Consumer groups warn of risks in buying a new Chevrolet | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Buyers scramble for new Chevrolets as prices plummet by nearly half – The Nation

A mechanic in the central Chai Nat province says Chevy owners should not overreact, as independent factories will produce spare partsafter GM’s departure.

“It’s the nature of the spare parts industry. Where there’s demand, factories will produce parts to supply the market.”

Used-car dealers are also fretting about their stock, fearing banks will unlikely lend to buyers when the manufacturer ceases operations.

Boonthanom Phisoot, the president of the used-car dealers’ association in Chiang Mai, urged the government to help Chevrolet owners to boost confidence for buyers, saying secondhand car dealers could fall into debt if they have stocked Chevrolets. One dealer said he planned to sell Chevrolets at cost or offer credit to buyers.

SOURCE: Bangok Post

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Chevy’s having a “garage sale” and prices are halved

Greeley Pulitzer

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Chevy’s having a “garage sale” and prices are halved | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - The Nation

General Motors’ recent announcement that it’s ending production and sales of Chevrolets in Thailand means prices for new Chevrolets have been cut by half. The starting price for the latest SUV, the Captiva, is now just under half a million baht. General Motors announced Sunday that it’s pulling out of “markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments,” namely Thailand, New Zealand and Australia. It also plans to sell its factory in Rayong province, east of Bangkok, to China’s Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of 2020.

The move will see 1,500 people lose their jobs at two factories in the East, but it also means more than 4,000 Chevrolets will be on sale for somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 less before. And while there’s been no official announcement, all Chevrolet dealerships have posted calculated prices after the discount.

The cost of a Captiva LS will fall from 999,000 baht to 499,000, and LT models tumble from1.099 million to 599,000 baht. The premier model is 699,000 baht, down from 1.199 million.

Smaller discounts will apply to Colorado models and Trailblazers. The Colorado Trailboss manual transmission version will sell for at 775,000 baht, down from 859,000. The Colorado High Country 2WD model is down to 775,000 baht from 998,000, and the Trailblazer 2.5 LT will start at 895,000 baht, down from 1.144 million.

The three year or 100,000-kilometre warranty will still apply on all models. Chevrolet says its service centres will continue operating, but has not specified which dealers will continue offering service.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand’s General Motors plant sold to China’s Great Wall Motors

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Thailand’s General Motors plant sold to China’s Great Wall Motors | The Thaiger
PHOTO: GM pulls out of Thailand and SE Asia, China moves in - General Motors website

China’s Great Wall Motors has agreed to buy the General Motors’ Thailand manufacturing plant in Rayong. It’s expected than the transaction will be completed by the end of this year. GM announced this week that it is accelerating a retreat from “unprofitable markets”, becoming more dependent on the US, China, Latin America and South Korea for its manufacturing. Read more about the pull-out HERE.

“GM is focusing on markets where we have the right strategies to drive robust returns, and prioritising global investments that will drive growth in the future of mobility, especially in electric and autonomous vehicles.”

GM said it will also pull the Chevrolet brand from Thailand, a major pickup and SUV market. With the proposed sale of the Thailand plant to Great Wall, GM passes up opportunities to expand operations in Southeast Asia.

Great Wall, one of China’s biggest SUV makers, says it will sell vehicles from the Thai manufacturing plant in Thailand, other ASEAN countries and Australia as the automaker seeks to expand globally amid a slowing domestic market. Earlier this year, it signed an agreement to buy a GM plant in India. The companies said they expected the transaction would be completed by the second half of this year.

Shi Ji, analyst at Haitong Internation, told Reuters that these two plant acquisitions will certainly accelerate the opening up of the auto market into parts of SE Asia.

“Such an acquisition could give Great Wall quick access to the ASEAN market, and Thailand is a good choice for its production base amid the country’s established supply chain in the automotive industry.”

Thailand produces around 2 million light vehicles each year, with just over half exported, most of them Japanese-based brands like Toyota, Honda and Suzuki. Great Wall may consider also building pickup trucks and SUVs in Thailand.

The automaker, which is building a car plant in China with BMW Group, sold 1.06 million light vehicles last year, including 65,175 units for export.

“There is no choice, if we don’t go global, we will not survive,” Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motors said last year when they opened their first full assembly plant in Russia. Great Wall rival Geely is also looking to expand light-vehicle sales across the ASEAN region with Malaysia-based brand Proton.

SOURCE: Auto News

Thailand's General Motors plant sold to China's Great Wall Motors | News by The ThaigerThailand's General Motors plant sold to China's Great Wall Motors | News by The Thaiger

A few of the Great Wall SUVs and pickups currently made in China – Great Wall website

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