Benz Thonglor orders shift into overdrive this year

Bangkok Post: Benz Thonglor, a leading authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz cars, has taken overwhelming sales orders for delivery at the end of next year, a sign luxury auto demand remains strong despite waning consumption in the first quarter.

Wasun Bodhipimpanon, owner of Benz Thonglor, attributed the massive orders to new models but did not elaborate on the amount of orders.

"The rosy economic sentiment has encouraged people to place orders. However, I am worried they may not accept the cars when delivered if the economy turns bleak," he said.

Martin Schulz, vice-president for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), recently said at least six new models will be introduced this year, in addition to the 15 models already available.

Mr Wasun said the most popular models have a price tag between 2.5 and 4 million baht.

Each customer who places an order with Benz Thonglor is subject to a 50,000 baht per-car deposit.

Mercedes-Benz sales volume through authorised dealerships across the country this year could reach 7,000 to 7,500 units, said a source who requested anonymity.

The carmaker's sales volume through dealers rose 34% in 2012 year-on-year to 6,274 units.

The National Economic and Social Development Board reported a lower first-quarter GDP than expected, at 5.3% year-on-year, weighed down by slowing domestic consumption and investment.


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