Low Demand For Cars In Thailand Boosts B-Quik
B-Quik Co, Thailand’s leading operator of car service centres, has increased its revenue target this year to 2 billion baht (42.1 million euros) from 1.8 billion (37.9 million euros) as sluggish demand for new cars has been a windfall to the maintenance market. Eight to 10 B-Quik service centres will be added this year to the existing network of 56 sites nationwide, said chief executive Henk Kiks.
“The market has been surprisingly good for us with revenue surging over 30 per cent in the first half,” said Kiks. “We earlier projected sales of 1.8 billion baht, growth of 21 per cent from last year, but now we are aiming for over a 33 per cent rise to 2 billion by the end of the year.”
Since 2004, the company has enjoyed a substantial rise in both sales and profitability, resulting in more store openings. In 2008, sales increased by 24per cent to 1.5 billion baht (31.6 m euros) a year with a staff of 750 people. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) jumped to 104 million baht (2.2 m euros) from 68 million (1.4 m euros), he said.
There are 52 yellow B-Quik centres in Greater Bangkok with one on the Eastern Seaboard, one in Ayutthaya and two in Chiang Mai. “We are expanding with the same number of centres as last year,” he said. “The current vehicle market doesn’t look good but we are a long-term investor in Thailand.”
A new store will open in Chon Buri soon, followed by one in Pattaya in the first half of August. Investment for 2009 includes 150 million baht (3.2 m euros) for new stores, 50 million baht (1.1 m euros) each for renovations of the existing sites and equipment upgrades, 100 million baht (2.1 m euros) in marketing, and 10 million baht (210,473 euros) for staff training.
The expansion requires 120 more staff, and by year-end B-Quik expects a workforce of 855. The company will run an on-the-job training programme for stores in the provinces. These staff will come to Bangkok for three months to receive basic training and to work in Bangkok stores, said Mr. Kiks.
B-Quik services all brands with oil and filter changes, and maintenance of tyres, shock absorbers, batteries, brakes, and air-conditioning services. It focuses on corporate vehicles and leasing firms.