PHUKET: Demand on the island for imported luxury cars does not look like it will subside any time soon. Saksri Kerdphol, GM of Autoexpress, Phuket’s premier foreign automobile dealership and service provider, gives a brief update about local market trends. This is followed by some customer testimonials.Phuket Gazette: What is the current state of the auto luxury import market in Phuket, Thailand and overall?
Saksri Kerdphol: The market in Phuket, as in the rest of the world, has been affected by the [global] economic crisis. We still have good sales figures but they have dropped compared to 2011 and 2012.
Can you describe your customer base, in terms of demographics?
Our customers are mostly from Phang-Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi and Phuket. Our clientele include successful Thais who desire an up-scale automobile to reflect their success. Our expat client nationalities range from Russian and Swedish to British and Americans. What is your current best seller? Why?
The Mercedes Benz is the most popular car for both local and expat customers. I think Mercedes has always had a reputation for fine quality and for being a sign of success.
Can you outline Autoexpress’ future plans, campaigns or activities
Our future plans are to expand our current customer base throughout Southern Thailand, by offering customers a comprehensive sales, service, and post-sales experience. We also plan to get even more involved in the sponsorship of events and charities throughout Southern Thailand to express our thanks to our community for their support.
CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS "I prefer to keep my business in Phuket and Autoexpress were the first company to offer the type of car I’m interested in. My first impression of the company was positive. They were very professional and I felt that I could trust them. As for my expectations of a car dealership, I think there should be a back-up and service package offered to customers. My experience with Autoexpress has been all good so far.
I chose a Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. It’s a perfect car for Phuket driving conditions, and since it’s a hybrid, it is better value and [sold] at a lower tax [rate]."
– Peter Joseph Wood, expat
"I purchased a Mercedes CLS 250 from Auto Express... I wanted a sports sedan that was simple to maintain. I am a long-standing client of a sales representative who was at one of their other show rooms before moving to Phuket.
I was impressed with the sales team and confident in their advice, as well as post-sale service. I expect a dealership to have a diverse offering, service center and be accessible when I want advice or assistance. Autoexpress met my expectations well."
– Fanprot Yukongpan, real estate business executive"I bought a Benz C 220 CDI, and chose Autoexpress for its convenience in providing service. I was impressed with their product diversity and personal manner of the owners. I value post-sales service the most, and Autoexpress met my expectations.
– Wanida Witayanurak, self employed
"I bought a Benz E 250 CGI from Auto-express. I knew I wanted a sport vehicle, and Autoexpress staff gave me good advice. They’re trustworthy and their staff provided me with information that was in line with my needs.
– Nanthariwal Phromtai, real estate executive
"Even though some of the cars are also available elsewhere, I chose AutoExpress because of the service and knowledgeable team who were ready to solve problems and offer support and assistant at will. The ability to provide information is really important, as is post-sale service, in which I have confidence in this company.
– Dungsiman Karittkamchai, hotel executive