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https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Transportation/Thai-Airways-restructuring-lifts-it-to-first-profit-in-5-years?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20220228190000&seq_num=26&si=44594

 

Thai Airways' restructuring lifts it to first profit in 5 years
Tourism reopening comes too late to improve airline's operating earnings

 

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Thai Airways reported a net profit in 2021, thanks to one-off contributions from asset assets and cuts to employee benefits. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 
MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writerFebruary 28, 2022 17:14 JST

 

BANGKOK -- Thai Airways International reported a full-year net profit in 2021, its first in five years, as one-off contributions from asset sales and cuts in employee benefits helped its bottom line.

 

But the Thai flag carrier's operating performance has yet to show signs of a sustained recovery despite the government scrapping quarantine requirements for vaccinated international travelers

Thai Airways posted a consolidated net profit of 55.1 billion baht ($1.7 billion) for 2021 on Wednesday, reversing its worst-ever net loss of 141 billion baht in 2020. The rebound reflected its restructuring efforts under a court-supervised rehabilitation.

 

"We returned to profit, but it was only because of one-time gains," Piyasvasti Amranand, a Thai Airways board member in charge of the company's rehabilitation, said at a news conference on Monday.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions around the world undermined the airline's already shaky financial position, forcing it to file for rehabilitation with the Central Bankruptcy Court in May 2020. Its rebuilding plan was formally approved last June.

 

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Thai Airways has put this building in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai up for sale, along with other properties, to bolster its finances. (Photo by Masayuki Yuda)

 

The company posted a gain of 4.4 billion baht from the sale of assets and shares. Thai Airways has put several properties up for sale to further shore up its books. It recorded an additional of 8.8 billion baht gain by reducing employee benefits and eliminating executive positions.

 

A debt restructuring contributed 61.8 billion baht to company coffers, as repayment deadlines for loans and debentures were extended. Entering into court-supervised rehabilitation gave the company an automatic stay in debt payments. Penalties for missed repayments from May to December 2020 that were booked in the company's financial results for 2020 were retrospectively exempted and included as an extraordinary gain in 2021.

 

Meanwhile, severance payments for an early retirement program cost 4.6 billion baht, an increase of 51% versus the previous year.

 

Thailand began accepting tourists without quarantine in November, as the government desperately sought to revive the economy. That helped support air travel for a while, but the quarantine waiver was later suspended for six weeks, starting in late December, due to the omicron outbreak. And the tourism-boosting measure came too late to affect Thai Airways' operating performance in 2021.

 

Revenue from passengers and excess baggage came to 5.5 billion baht, down 84% from the previous year. Freight and mail revenue jumped 59% to 10.9 billion baht over the same period, thanks to demand for deliveries sparked by the global economic recovery.

 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have little impact on flights. "Since 2014, Thai Airways has not flown over Ukrainian skies," said Piyasvasti. It does not operate direct flights to Russia or Ukraine.

 

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Russians were the top visitors by nationality to Thailand in January, but they mostly travel on charter flights. Geopolitical tensions, however, have pushed oil prices up markedly. Higher fuel prices are likely to make travel more expensive, discouraging potential visitors. "This is a common issue for all airline companies," said Chai Emsiri, Thai Airways' chief of finance.

 

The Thai flag carrier aims to return to a stable operating profit next year. Piyasvasti insisted the airline had improved its profitability significantly by reducing operating costs. "Once travel restrictions by other countries are relaxed, Thai Airways will start making an operating profit," said the director overseeing the rehabilitation.

 

The airline will increase flights to countries and regions that are already open, such as the European Union, Australia, India, and Saudi Arabia. Piyasvasti said he expects Japan and South Korea to scrap travel restrictions by the end of the year. China, on the other hand, is likely to remain closed for the entire year, he said.

 

Despite wringing out its first profit in five years, the flag carrier's financial troubles are not over. As of December, the company's shareholder equity had improved but remained at minus 71.3 billion baht, versus minus 128.7 billion baht in December 2020.

 

Its total assets declined by 23%, while liabilities fell 31%.

 

The airline has abandoned efforts to receive write-offs from its creditors, unlike many other previously debt-ridden international carriers, such as Japan Airlines. Thai Airways will remain weak financially for the foreseeable future, hurting its ability to invest quickly for future profitability.

 

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Piyasvasti Amranand, a Thai Airways board member overseeing the company's rehabilitation, discusses its financial results for 2021, in Bangkok on Feb. 28. (Photo by Masayuki Yuda)

 

To make it through rehabilitation, the airline is in talks with its creditors for an additional loan of 25 billion baht. "We will have a final discussion with banks in March, and sign a contract by the end of March," said Piyasvasti. Bangkok Bank, Thailand's largest commercial lender, will be the lead underwriter for the loan. Krung Thai Bank, Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Government Savings Bank and Kasikorn Bank may join as co-underwriters, according to the airline.

 

Its assets, including land, aircraft and even airplane parts will be used as collateral for the loan. The assets were valued at 30 billion baht.

 

Of the fresh funds, 4 billion baht will be used for employee compensation, while 10 billion baht will go to refund customers for unused tickets. The rest will be used as working capital.

 

Thai Airways' original rehabilitation plan, which was approved by the court, included an additional 25 billion baht loan from the government. But late last year the government decided not to grant the loan, forcing the airline to come up with an alternative. The new plan must again win court approval.

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It ain't no secret but for someone who love to cook there's always something he/she always use for th cooking. It could be a technique, a sauce, a stock etc. For me its my cooking stock that I use it so very regularly as I am please to share

 

 

 

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Thais like to have "khao gaeng" for breakfast, translated literally khao = rice and gaeng = curry or stew or even soup.

 

Every morning you can find such stalls open with many pans or pots of cooked food. So customers simply select what dish he want with the plate of rice.

 

This is a khao gaeng shop near to my home

 

 

Honestly I over ordered because I love curry
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Pumkin pork curry
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Egg plant braised with minced pork
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Chicken galangal soup
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Chicken curry
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Leftover I brought home for dinner

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Once in a while I will feel like having SPAM as a snack. Like a few nights before.

 

Frying my snack at 11pm

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Spam really smells heavenly when fried
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My snack is ready
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Spam snack with whisky soda is perfect match, believe you me
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Posted (edited)

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Ukraine-war/Prayuth-shrugs-off-request-from-25-ambassadors-to-condemn-Russia?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20220302190000&seq_num=14&si=44594

 

Prayuth shrugs off request from 25 ambassadors to condemn Russia
Thailand uses ASEAN statement as political cover to stay neutral on Ukraine war

 

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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has insisted on remaining neutral over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.   © Reuters
MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writerMarch 2, 2022 18:36 JST

 

BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has brushed aside a request from 25 ambassadors in Bangkok asking his government to take a stand against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

 

"We should maintain balance at this point," the prime minister told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

 

With the exception of Singapore, which has forcefully denounced the invasion, much of Southeast Asia has responded with little more than cautious expressions of concern. Thailand came under pressure to change that on Monday, when the envoys visited Thani Thongpakdi, the permanent secretary for foreign affairs.

 

The ambassadors represented a long list of nations: the U.S., U.K., Japan, Canada, Norway, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Czech, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Denmark as well as the European Union. Together, they urged Thailand, as a member of the United Nations, to speak up for the rules-based international order and denounce the invasion as a violation of the U.N. charter.

 

The kingdom has stuck to neutrality since the invasion began last Thursday. The Thai foreign ministry expressed deep concern over the escalating tensions while supporting a peaceful settlement through dialogue. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Saturday published a statement with a similar tone.

 

In rebuffing the ambassadors' request, Prayuth used the bloc's statement as cover. "It's a regional matter now," he said, arguing that countries should avoid trumpeting their own stance once ASEAN has clarified its position.

 

According to local reports, Prayuth also mentioned the kingdom's long-standing relationship with Russia as a reason for staying neutral. This year is the 125th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between what was once the Kingdom of Siam and Imperial Russia.

 

On Monday, Evgeny Tomikhin, the Russian ambassador to Thailand, paid a courtesy call on Phuket Vice Gov. Pichet Panapong. Officials of the southern island and diplomats from Russia discussed the prospects for celebrating and furthering relations this year.

 

The meeting, likely scheduled before the attack on Ukraine, was roundly criticized online as careless and untimely.

 

Russia is an important economic partner for Thailand, especially as a source of tourists. In normal times, Russians come to the kingdom in large numbers, hopping on charter flights to destinations like Phuket. In January, they were the top visitors to Thailand by nationality, accounting for 17.7% of all foreign arrivals amid a gradual reopening from COVID-19.

 

The Russian tourism market looks even more crucial now, with another key source of visitors, China, slow to ease its own curbs on overseas travel.

 

But Thailand's reluctance to speak out has put it at odds with Western partners like the U.S. Thailand's silence can also be seen as part of a pattern. Prayuth's dovish stance on the military takeover in Myanmar 13 months ago is one reason ASEAN has struggled to present a united front in its own neighborhood. The situation, in fact, has called ASEAN's own raison d'etre into question.
 

Edited by Yamato
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I always like to have this accountant friend join me for Japanese meals as she knows how to appreciate good uni.

 

 

 

So this was our lunch yesterday

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Oysters

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Tuna
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So fresh these prawns
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Sashimi
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Small fish to grill
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Leftover heads of prawns
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Complimentary from the chef - cheek of mackerel
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Saturday missed Singapore's Malay food Soto Ayam very much so next day cooked. Its noodle in Chicken soup with lots of herbs and spices. Begedil (fried mesh potatoes) goes very well with mee soto ayam so I made some too.

 

Ingredient

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Cooking

 

 

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This morning woke up early went out to my planter to get some spring onion.

 

 

 

The reason is I wanted to fry some egg noodle for breakfast

 

 

 

Finished frying


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14 hours ago, Yamato said:

Saturday missed Singapore's Malay food Soto Ayam very much so next day cooked. Its noodle in Chicken soup with lots of herbs and spices. Begedil (fried mesh potatoes) goes very well with mee soto ayam so I made some too.

 

Ingredient

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Cooking

 

 

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Actually can throw in hash brown also... 

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Hey guys. I make it a point to perform an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) every Monday morning before I leave home for office. Once again this week's test was negative.

 

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Wednesday morning I woke up feeling very tired and sleepy and a little headache coupled with a slight cough and runny nose, must be that bloody whiskey overdose the night before. I went to the office feeling very sleepy throughout. Came home thought I better do a ART and once again the result was negative

 

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Yesterday Thursday I was feeling must better without any headache however the slight cough and runny nose persists did another ART looks good

 

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Anyway with flu like symptoms I thought I better stay home. So I basically rested at home and about 6pm I decided to do the ART again this time bamb!

 

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Anyway I just want to share this Omicron experience with all that it's not that bad so far for me. Only having slight cough, slight runny nose and a little headache on Wednesday and feeling tiredness wanting to sleep that's all. So yesterday I had 2 dark lines this morning I checked it became like this

 

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Guess I caught a weak strain or perhaps its due to my 4 vaccine shots? Let's see what happens tomorrow. 

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34 minutes ago, Yamato said:

Hey guys. I make it a point to perform an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) every Monday morning before I leave home for office. Once again this week's test was negative.

 

img%5D

 

Wednesday morning I woke up feeling very tired and sleepy and a little headache coupled with a slight cough and runny nose, must be that bloody whiskey overdose the night before. I went to the office feeling very sleepy throughout. Came home thought I better do a ART and once again the result was negative

 

img%5D

 

Yesterday Thursday I was feeling must better without any headache however the slight cough and runny nose persists did another ART looks good

 

img%5D

 

Anyway with flu like symptoms I thought I better stay home. So I basically rested at home and about 6pm I decided to do the ART again this time bamb!

 

img%5D

 

Anyway I just want to share this Omicron experience with all that it's not that bad so far for me. Only having slight cough, slight runny nose and a little headache on Wednesday and feeling tiredness wanting to sleep that's all. So yesterday I had 2 dark lines this morning I checked it became like this

 

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Guess I caught a weak strain or perhaps its due to my 4 vaccine shots? Let's see what happens tomorrow. 

 

Moi coli no vaccine too omnicron had fever... Ya maybe gotch vaccine.

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Last week had a great duck confit while lunch at Central Embassy's Water Library Restaurant.

Great view of Bangkok downtown
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The gin
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Hot, freshly baked breads
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Prawn salad
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Mushroom soup
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Lobster cold pasta
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The star of the lunch
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For those who like hot pot I highly recommend this Mo-Mo-Paradise restaurant in Thailand. Great beef and pork and vegetables. Soup very nice too.

 

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The feast
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Nice meat
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Sauces
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Two types of soup
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Dig in
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Yesterday morning sort of loss 50% of my voice so I decided to leave home and quarantine at a quarantine facility managed by a private hospital. Also prevent spreading to wife and maid at home. After all my covid insurance will pay for the stay.

 

So in the afternoon was picked up by the hospital in a ambulance and driven to the quarantine hotel

 

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The quarantine room

 

 

 

View of sunset over Bangkok from my quarantine room

 

 

 

Today Tuesday is my 6th day with Covid

 

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2 hours ago, Yamato said:

Yesterday morning sort of loss 50% of my voice so I decided to leave home and quarantine at a quarantine facility managed by a private hospital. Also prevent spreading to wife and maid at home. After all my covid insurance will pay for the stay.

 

So in the afternoon was picked up by the hospital in a ambulance and driven to the quarantine hotel

 

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The quarantine room

 

 

 

View of sunset over Bangkok from my quarantine room

 

 

 

Today Tuesday is my 6th day with Covid

 

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Take care and get well soon. Is that movenpick hotel?

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https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Transportation/Malaysia-s-AirAsia-Ride-to-launch-in-Thailand-next-month?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20220316190000&seq_num=14&si=44594

 

Malaysia's AirAsia Ride to launch in Thailand next month
Capital A's latest business expansion comes as losses weigh on finances

 

https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.am

Capital A controls budget airline AirAsia as well as e-hailing service AirAsia Ride, which is launching in

Thailand in April.   © Reuters
P PREM KUMAR, Nikkei staff writerMarch 16, 2022 17:53 JST

 

KUALA LUMPUR -- Capital A's e-hailing subsidiary AirAsia Ride announced on Wednesday that it will launch services in Thailand next month, as the parent holding company expands aggressively despite financial losses.

 

Ride-hailing will commence in the Thai capital Bangkok before expanding to other major cities, said Lim Chiew Shan, regional CEO of AirAsia Ride.

 

"We are starting the service with 5,000 taxis," Lim said at a news conference. adding it would expand to "private drivers after a few months."

 

AirAsia Ride, which began in Kuala Lumpur in August, currently covers all major cities in Malaysia with 30,000 registered drivers and monthly bookings in the six digits, Lim said.

 

He added that the e-hailing service's total rides increased an average of 63% month on month in 2021. It has recorded over 700,000 rides to date.

 

AirAsia Ride is part of Capital A, which launched in January and is co-owned by aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes, a founder of budget carrier AirAsia. Fernandes started focusing on the expansion of non-airline businesses after the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed air travel early in 2020.

 

From an initial step into cargo logistics and online travel agency businesses, Fernandes now owns a non-airline empire that spans sectors from food, groceries and restaurants to parcel delivery, insurance and microlending.

 

AirAsia's digital business division was valued at $1 billion as of July, and Fernandes has said he aspires for it to provide half of the group's total income in the medium term.

 

AirAsia in July announced that AirAsia Digital had acquired Indonesian company Gojek's operations in Thailand in an all-share deal worth $50 million and which included Gojek taking a 5% stake in AirAsia Digital.

 

Grab has been Malaysia's dominant e-hailing player since Uber's exit in 2018. The Singapore-based company commanded over 72% of the local market as of last year, according to the company's initial public offering documents.

 

AirAsia's net loss in 2020 ballooned to 5.1 billion ringgit ($1.2 billion) from 315.8 million ringgit in 2019. Revenue, meanwhile, was 3.1 billion ringgit in 2020, down from 11.9 billion ringgit in 2019, as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel blockades hit the company.

 

The situation improved in 2021, with the airline reporting a net loss of 3.1 billion ringgit, on the back of 1.73 million ringgit in revenue.

 

The Bursa Malaysia stock exchange in January placed Capital A on watch, demanding that it conduct a financial restructuring within a year or face automatic delisting.

 

Last week, the Malaysian company was denied a much-anticipated government-backed loan of 500 million ringgit that it had been banking on to fund operations as Southeast Asia rapidly reopens borders for travel and tourism.
 

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https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Automobiles/Thai-used-car-market-heats-up-as-foreign-startups-jump-in?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20220317190000&seq_num=23&si=44594#

 

Thai used-car market heats up as foreign startups jump in
Online dealers hope to attract more consumers amid rising demand

 

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According to Deloitte, 21% of Thai consumers would like at least part of their next vehicle purchase to be done online. (Screenshot from  CAR24, Carro, and Carsome webstite)
APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT and DYLAN LOH, Nikkei staff writersMarch 17, 2022 12:20 JST

 

BANGKOK/SINGAPORE -- Used-car sales in Thailand are set to grow again this year after a stellar 2021 due to a shortage of new cars, with online dealers such as India's Cars24 and Malaysia's Carsome entering the market to capitalize on fresh demand.

 

On March 3, Carsome said it had partnered with PTT Oil and Retail Business -- a subsidiary of Thailand's energy conglomerate PTT -- in a move that analysts said would help the Malaysian company expand its used-car network and boost online vehicle purchases.

 

"It is a 'blue ocean' market," said Pinyo Tanawatcharaporn, president of the Association of Used Cars, referring to an industry where there is little competition. The association is expecting Thailand's secondhand car market to grow 10-15% this year.

 

The demand for cars has grown as commuters shy away from public transport to avoid crowds as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic's hit to the economy has weakened spending power, which has made buyers look for cheaper secondhand alternatives. Furthermore, the global chip shortage has constrained automakers' ability to produce new vehicles.

 

Thailand's used car sales grew 7.5% to around 140 billion baht ($4.2 billion) in 2021, with further growth expected this year, according to Kasikorn Research Center. Pinyo said 1.2 million used cars were sold last year.

 

Internet-based dealers have clocked on to Thailand's large consumer base as a means to fuel growth in Asia outside of their home markets. India's Cars24, for instance, launched its Southeast Asian foothold in the kingdom last November after its rivals -- Singapore's Carro and Malaysia's Carsome -- had already set up a Thai presence.

 

All three startups are interested in generating car sales from their Thai digital platforms. According to Deloitte's "2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study," 21% of consumers in Thailand will prefer fully or partially virtual transactions to buy their next vehicle, while only 12% in the Philippines and Indonesia chose to do so.

 

The report mentioned that consumers in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam show a greater willingness to transact online.

 

Startups like Cars24 hope to shift buyers online, particularly given the acceleration of digital penetration in Southeast Asia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like its competitors Carro and Carsome, Cars24 is doing this with hefty funding from backers.

 

Last September, Cars24, which bills itself as India's largest online portal for used vehicles with an inventory of over 10,000 cars, announced the closing of a $450 million Series F equity round, which included investors like SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings.

 

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Carro CEO Aaron Tan. The online car sales platform received investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in June 2021. (Photo by Takashi Nakano)

 

In June, Carro announced that SoftBank Group had led its $360 million Series C funding round, which included Indonesia-based fund EV Growth, among other backers.

 

The same year, Carsome announced the closing of its $170 million Series D2 round, bringing the company's valuation to $1.3 billion and prompting the startup to claim that it was Malaysia's largest technology unicorn.

 

"I have been in the market for many years, but I've never seen such big investments from online used car platforms in the Thai market," said Pinyo from the Association of Used Cars. "That has forced us to switch to both online and offline outlets in order to survive, as we have realized that consumers' behaviors have changed."

 

He said some consumers were worried about the quality of used cars bought online. To assuage those fears, the association has formed a partnership with Japanese vehicle inspection specialist Goo to verify the cars.

 

"That has made it easier for Thai used-car sellers to adjust their businesses by moving online, and some of our members have already built their own webpages to meet changing consumer demands," Pinyo said.

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