November 20, 2023
BANGKOK – Japanese car manufacturers are intensifying promotions to compete with Chinese electric vehicles. Honda and Nissan are offering 0% interest rates and price reductions to attract customers.
Honda, in the past, has rarely done many campaigns or promotions. The strong competition from Chinese EV sales, ranging from eco-cars to compact cars, including mid-sized passenger cars, had made promotional campaigns necessary, the chief of Honda said.
The chairman of the executive committee and CEO of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co Ltd, Hideo Kawasaka, said: “We are aware of the competition with Chinese brands that affects the C and D segments [Honda Civic and Accord]. Before I came to Thailand, I worked for Honda in China for five years, where we had to fight against Chang’an or BYD.”
“I must admit that the selling price affects the ability to compete. Adjustment of prices must be considered carefully. But using campaigns like 0% interest plus free first-class insurance will be incentives that we will offer at the end of this year,” Kawasaka said.
The new Honda Accord manufactured at the Honda Automobile Thailand factory in Rojana Industrial Estate was officially launched on October 17, and to date, there have been orders for more than 600 cars.
The top model RS, priced at 1.799 million baht, accounts for 75% of sales. Honda Thailand is targeting Generation 11 Accord sales at up to 600 cars per month, a steep increase from the old model that used to sell an average of over a hundred cars per month.
Kawasaka said that dealers were running heavy promotions for both City, Civic, HR-V, and Accord models, offering 0% interest, or buyers could choose a discount of 100,000–150,000 baht and interest starting at 1.89%. The third option is a low down payment of 5,000 baht, depending on the model.
Honda is the only Japanese car brand with positive growth in sales at the end of the third quarter.
Honda aims to sell a total of 100,000 cars of all models in 2023. The promotion campaigns aimed at boosting sales late in the year are geared towards achieving the company’s business plan and sales target, he said.
Meanwhile, other Japanese brands such as Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mazda, and Suzuki are also coming up with promotions in the passenger car category, offering 0% interest for 72 or 84 months, along with free first-class insurance or the option to choose discounts ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 baht, depending on the model. These offers will be made at the Motor Expo 2023 (November 30-December11 ) and extend until the end of the year.