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Phuket Business: Toyota Sure opens shop

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: Toyota Sure opens shop | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: With so many new cars hitting the streets, the island’s used car and trade-in market is rapidly growing – particularly good news for car owners having second thoughts about a recently purchased or leased vehicle.

Benchmarking market growth, Phuket’s Toyota Pearl recently held the soft opening of Toyota Sure, the brand’s renowned second-hand car dealership, located off Chalermprakiat (Bypass) Road at the Bang Khu intersection.

Speaking exclusively with the Phuket Gazette, Phuket’s Toyota Sure Deputy Managing Director Chaipat Na-Ranong said, “Our aim is to be a one-stop service. It’s not uncommon for customers who buy a new car to change their mind and want to trade it in.

“We provide that option for them, at good prices. Customers can rely on our trusted quality and service.”

As for buy-in criteria, Toyota Sure considers cars which are less than 5 years old, or those which have clocked less than 120,000 kilometers.

“We will certify this type of car upon resale, which means we provide a warranty for one year or 20,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. We will still consider buying vehicles which are older than five years or have more than 120,000 kilometers, but we cannot certify them upon resale,” Mr Chapat said.

Phuket’s Toyota Sure is the 8th such branch to open in Southern Thailand. Other regional branches are located in Krabi, Trang, Haad Yai, Songkhla, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chumphon.

Asked why Phuket’s main Toyota dealer took longer than respective dealers in neighboring provinces to open a Toyota used car dealership, Chaipat said, “Actually, we’ve planned to open Toyota Sure in Phuket for quite some time.

“However, it requires a lot of investment to do everything all at once, and with business you always have to consider cash flow. I can’t speak about the strategy of other Toyota dealers, but over the last 5 years most of our concentration in Phuket has been in the new car market.

“Demand and sales targets for new cars have continued to increase every year. Now that the business is going steady, we are ready for the next step.”

Toyota Sure employs a staff of about 25, which includes a sales team, technicians and administration personnel. The total investment for the new Toyota Sure and Car Spa facilities, including land and construction costs, is valued at about 150 million baht.

Side by side with the Phuket Toyota Pearl main office and new car show room, the newest addition sits on an area of about four rai (6,400 sqm), while the greater premises, spanning a total area of about 32 rai (51,200 sqm), also include a stock yard.

“We are also planning to open a paint and body shop by the end of the third quarter,” Chaipat said, noting that the total investment for the entire 8-year-long operation is about 1 billion baht.

As for the hold-up in Phuket’s Toyota Sure official grand opening, Mr Chaipat explained, “Before we hold the grand opening, everything needs to be ready. Mostly we’re waiting for furniture for the customer lounge and a new coffee shop, and, of course, more cars.

“We aim to have at least 40 to 50 cars before we’re fully ready, which should be within the next month or two.”

Chaipat said that the Phuket showroom currently has about 10 to 15 used cars on display, of which about 40% are buy-ins from Phuket, while the other 60% were shipped here from Toyota Motors Thailand, in Bangkok.

“When we’re fully operational, we expect to have about 80% of the cars to be from Phuket.

Our sales target for the first year is at least 450 to 500 units, he said.

Owners of non-Toyota vehicles will not be neglected.

“Though about 80% of our stock needs to be Toyotas, we do consider buying and trading other known cars as well,” he said.

— Steven Layne

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January

Maya Taylor

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Vietjet

Passenger numbers on domestic flights within Thailand have doubled within a month, rising from 4,000 in January to over 10,000 this month. Having nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, domestic travel plummeted once more when Covid-19 resurfaced late last year.

Apirat Chaiwongnoi from the Department of Airports says 15 of Thailand’s 29 airports are now operating domestic flights, with more expected to follow. He believes the aviation sector will continue to recover further in the coming 6 months, bolstered by the national vaccine rollout.

Around 120 domestic flights a day are now operating, which is twice the number that were operating at the lowest point in the crisis. Prior to the resurgence of the virus in December, domestic passenger numbers had recovered to 30,000 – 40,000 a day, around 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The DoA says airports must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 hygiene measures put in place by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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