General Motors recently announced it would be pulling the Chevrolet brand out of Thailand as part of a restructuring of its international business, with the brand to stop all manufacturing and sales operations in the country before the end of the year.
As Chevrolet sales wind down in the country, GM has become eager to clear out its remaining stock. It began offering heavy discounts on models like the Chevrolet Captiva, Trailblazer and Colorado earlier this month, with discounts on the 2020 Captiva reaching as high as 50 percent. This slashed the vehicle’s MSRP to just 499,000-699,000 baht (about $15,700-$21,200 USD) before taxes – an undeniably good deal for a brand new compact crossover.
Now a band of about 100 Captiva owners are demanding payouts from Chevrolet Thailand, however, after they purchased their vehicles for full price last year. Natthapon Khankaew, who represents the Captiva owners, told Bangkok Post this week that the discounts have not only left them feeling ripped off, but have also affected their insurance premiums.
“The steep discounts have affected the repayment of auto loans, renewal of insurance, resale price and depreciation,” Natthanpon said, adding that insurers have cut their coverage and premiums by up to 50% to fall in line with the discounted price of the 2020 Captiva.
Natthanpon also said GM likely knew well ahead of time it would be pulling out of the Thai market, yet still sold the Captiva at full price even in the months leading up to the announcement.
“We wonder what GM was covering up and why it did not negotiate with existing buyers before making its announcement,” he told the Bangkok Post. “Plus we don’t trust the after-sales service once the company leaves the country.”
The protestors delivered a letter to GM Thailand this week demanding compensation after showing up at its headquarters in the suburbs of Bangkok.
Chevrolet Thailand says it is not liable as the price was cut to clear stocks, and also said the discounts comply with local regulations.
“Chevrolet Thailand has no policy on compensation in this case since the price-cut promotion took effect from February 18 and was in accordance with the law,” the company said.
The automaker has assured existing Chevrolet owners that it will continue to provide aftersales support in the country and will keep its Customer Assistance Center open, which it says will operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.
“Although we will cease new vehicle sales by the end of this year, Chevrolet owners can rest assured that we will continue to honor all vehicle warranties and provide aftersales support through a dedicated aftersales network in Thailand,” Hector Villarreal, president of GM Southeast Asia, said in a statement released earlier this month.
Source: Bangkok Post