Chevrolet opening 25 new service centers in Thailand

Chevrolet, the iconic American car brand that is a division of General Motors, said last week it will open 25 centers dedicated solely to service and spare parts, in addition to its existing 90 sales and service centers, in a bid to boost consumer confidence in the brand as it battles against Japanese and other competitors that dominate the Thai auto market.

“Chevrolet is committed to increasing our service network in Thailand and increasing customer confidence as a result,” said Piyanuch Chaturaphat, Chevrolet’s general director for sales and marketing. “This announcement is a part of the Chevrolet Complete Care program, which is also committed to constantly improving customer service and experience.”

The new investment in service could make the U.S. carmaker more competitive in Thailand. One reason Japanese-made automobiles are more popular with Thai consumers is the extensive nationwide service networks that most Japanese auto brands have established in the Kingdom.

Chevrolet said it has sold a cumulative total of 230,000 vehicles in Thailand. During the first five months of this year, Chevrolet sold 7,542 automobiles, an increase of 2.9 percent over the same period during the previous year. Nearly all the Chevrolet vehicles sold were its Colorado pickup trucks, followed by its Trailblazer sport utility vehicle. Thailand is a huge market for pickup trucks.

Chevrolet will invest an estimated $1.5 million in the 25 service centers. The centers will open in phases and all 25 should be up and running by 2019, Piyanuch said.

“We want to grow our loyalty, customer retention and after-sales business in Thailand, as well as support further sales growth,” Piyanuch said.

In its latest survey of the Thai vehicle market, JD Power ranked Chevrolet ninth out of ten car companies in Thailand for service, indicating that service is an area in need of improvement if the U.S. carmaker wants to be more competitive in the Kingdom.

Although the new investment is designed to serve customers in Thailand, Chevrolet also has a parts distribution center in Ayutthaya province on a 58,000-square-foot plot, that provides parts to Thailand and 35 other countries, expanding Chevrolet’s global reach.