Without a totally new product to offer next year, Mazda will stress further developing the strengths and capabilities of its dealers in preparation for new products scheduled for 2009.
John Ray, managing director of Mazda Sales (Thailand), said the company would develop the readiness of its dealer network next year rather than take part in intense marketing activities.
Presently, Mazda has 90 dealers around Thailand, a number that is expected to increase to 100 during the year.
Serious marketing activities will be initiated in 2009 when new products such as the Mazda 2 will be launched.
Mazda plans to sell 15,000 to 16,000 vehicles in 2008, which is similar to 2007 figures, Ray said.
He predicted that the automobile market in Thailand would grow slightly, to 650,000 units, up from 620,000 to 630,000 in 2007. He said the reason for the small growth was the increasing fuel prices in the global market.
“In the first half of 2007, we conducted various training activities to raise the potential and capabilities of employees,” he said.
“We used as much as Bt12 million for this, which is very high compared with the Bt3 million we used in 2005 and 2006.”
Meanwhile, Mazda is lowering the retail prices of the Mazda 3 by 5 per cent from the end of this year, in order to comply with the government’s E20 gasohol policy, which drew much attention from customers, he said.
This year the company plans to introduce a slightly modified version of its BT-50 pickup while preparing the launch of new models as well, he concluded.