For decades, Anuphas Vividhkarn has served as the only Honda dealer and official service agent in Phuket.
Managing Director Montawee Hongyok announced on Saturday that Anuphas Vividhkarn’s four dealerships in Phuket and Phang Nga will stop cease operating as Honda showrooms and service centres from Mar 1.
“Due to economic conditions and changes, we have decided to stop being an official Honda dealer,” Deputy Managing Director Montri Hongyok explained.
“Honda itself will continue their work. They have their own plan, so customers have no need to worry,” he assured.
However, at the time of the announcement and still today (Feb 19), there are no other Honda dealers in Phuket, according to the official Honda Thailand website.
Asked where Honda owners will able to have their vehicles serviced by official agents, a standing condition in order to uphold warranties on new vehicles bought, Mr Montri said, “I want Honda to say themselves because I don’t know whether they will find new dealer, and where (such dealers might be located).”
Mr Montri added that he had been informed that “within one to two months, a Honda centre headquarters will be in Phuket, but we don’t know the exact location yet.”
Asked specifically about Honda upholding its warranties for new vehicle owners, Mr Montawee said plainly, “If it’s under warranty by Honda, it’s Honda’s responsibility.”
As for the future of the main Honda dealership in Phuket Town, Mr Montri explained, “As our Honda centre is in a great location, we think it can be more beneficial for Phuket people. We plan to launch a business in the fields of tourism, health and service for Phuket people.”
“As for the staff, we have another 15 businesses, so the staff can still work with us,” he added.
The four dealerships to be released from their Honda obligations will continue to operate, he added, but as general service centres for all vehicles, Mr Montri noted.
“They will become complete repair centres, not only for Honda vehicles, but for other vehicles also,” he added.
The closure of the Honda dealerships in Phuket next Thursday follows Chevrolet Thailand having their previous sole dealership on the island terminated on May 31 last year. (See story here.)
Throughout the closing six months of last year, Chevrolet Thailand repeated their promise of having a dealership in Phuket by the end of 2017, but in December finally refused to confirm or deny whether a Phuket dealership was still forthcoming. (See story here.)
As of today (Feb 19), Chevrolet still do not list any official dealers or service agents in Phuket on their official “Find a Dealer” webpage (click here) despite Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) Sales and Marketing Director Piyanuch Chaturaphat issuing a media statement in December stating, “As Chevrolet Sales Thailand ended its partnership with its dealership in Phuket earlier this year, it has made all services at its dealership in Krabi available to any customers who need support.
“We understand this may represent a temporary inconvenience for our customers in Phuket, and in view of this we are taking additional actions with our dealers in the neighbouring provinces to arrange mobile services for our customers in Phuket as an interim solution.
“At Chevrolet, customer satisfaction is our top priority and we are treating this situation with the highest importance,” concluded the statement.
Meanwhile, any Chevrolet owners in Phuket who must have their new vehicles serviced by an authorised dealer must continue to make the 300-kilometre round trip to Krabi in order to keep their warranties intact.
On the regional front, South Korea has voiced concern and said it was considering several options regarding the operations of General Motors Co – which produces Chevrolet vehicles – after the US automaker called for cooperation over its restructuring efforts in the country. (See Reuters story here.)
– Jirarat Rakjamroon