As one of the Southeast Asian countries leading in Auto Industry development, Thailand shines in the eyes of the automotive world. Recently, Chinese carmakers have been setting their sights on this market for growth potential, likely due to the country’s expanding middle class, low production costs and various other incentives. So what is the secret behind the allure of the ‘Land of Smiles’ to these international auto manufacturers? Let’s investigate the reasons why Chinese carmakers are eyeing Thailand.
1. Exploring Thailand’s Automotive Market
Thailand’s automotive market is alive and flourishing and a great destination for auto fanatics looking to explore. As one of the largest automotive producers in southeast Asia, this country has plenty to offer when it comes to vehicle options as well as affordability.
Often referred to as the Detroit of Asia, Thailand serves as the primary manufacturing hub for many car companies. The most popular auto makers in the country include Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Chevrolet and Isuzu. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious sports car, an off-road SUV, a commercial truck or a comfortable sedan, you’ll find it here.
- Besides investing in these iconic brands, Thailand is also home to several indigenous car companies such as Tuk-Tuk, Best and Bajaj.
- The types of cars available includes family cars, sports cars, off-road vehicles and luxury cruisers.
- The cost of the cars varies depending on the model you choose – you can find some of the most affordable vehicles here.
- The country also offers great servicing and maintenance facilities to keep your car running smoothly.
2. China vs. Thailand: Established Rivals
For many years, China and Thailand have been coming back and forth at each other in a long-running rivalry. As neighbors who share some values, there is plenty that binds them together, but lurking beneath the surface is an irrepressible sense of competition.
The two sides have had many clashes over the years, ranging from diplomatic standoffs to military engagements. It’s a simmering rivalry that is informed by:
- Territorial Disputes: Both countries have been engaged in disputes over the sovereignty of certain land tracts, leading to occasional skirmishes.
- Cultural Differences: Despite some shared values, there have been divergences in beliefs and traditions between the two countries that have caused conflict in the past.
- Economic Competition: With both countries vying for economic dominance in the region, the rivalry has extended to the economic arena.
Conflict between these two regional powerhouses has shaped the political and economic landscape for centuries. China and Thailand remain established rivals with no end to their competition in sight.
3. Chinese Automakers Gaining Ground in Thailand
China has become a major automotive powerhouse over the last decade, with global automakers scrambling to get a foothold in the country. But now, Chinese automakers are turning their focus to Thailand, with the market being one of the most attractive in Southeast Asia.
- It’s estimated that Thai car sales will total 1.3 million vehicles in 2019 – that’s up from 1.1 million vehicles in 2018.
- Thailand’s infrastructure makes it an attractive choice for Chinese automakers looking to expand beyond the domestic market.
Chinese automakers have already started making their mark in Thailand, with more than 100 Chinese-branded vehicles currently being sold throughout the country. Moreover, there are plans to significantly expand their presence, with Chinese automakers expected to hold roughly 10 percent of the Thai market by 2020. This may sound small, but considering the current climate it’s a massive achievement.
4. Strategic Opportunities for Chinese Automakers in Thailand
The automotive industry in Thailand is currently going through an unprecedented era of growth, with Chinese automakers catching up with local manufacturers in the manufacturing of cars in the region. There are several strategic opportunities that Chinese automakers can take advantage of to expand their market share in Thailand.
- Wide Availability of Resources: Thanks to the availability of abundant natural resources and skilled personnel, manufacturing automobiles in Thailand presents a lucrative opportunity to Chinese automakers. The cost of these resources is also significantly cheaper than other competing markets in Asia, making thecountry an attractive proposition for automakers.
- Cost Efficient Manufacturing Infrastructure: Thailand is renowned for having one of the most advanced manufacturing strategies in the world. This infrastructure is both cost effective and efficient, ensuring that the delivery of cars to the market is on time and within budget.
The opportunity for Chinese automakers to be successful in Thailand is better than ever before, and with strategic positioning, automakers can take advantage of this unique opportunity.
As China’s car market stagnates, more Chinese car makers are increasingly eyeing Thailand as a potential market for their vehicles. With its growing population, automotive industry, and open borders, Thailand presents a unique opportunity for these brands to get a foothold in the Southeast Asian region. Only time will tell how successful these automotive giants will be in their quest to tap into Thailand’s immense potential—but one thing is certain: the competition is heating up, and the automotive industry in Thailand is about to get a lot more competitive.