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Half price for Chevy Captiva leaves early buyers fuming

Customers who paid full amount demand compensation or chance to terminate purchase contracts

Plenty of people have been buying the Chevrolet Captiva SUV at a knockdown price since General Motors announced earlier this month it was shuttering the assembly plant in Rayong before the year’s out and unloading all stock.

But about 100 customers who paid the full price for the car last year petitioned General Motors (Thailand) and Chevrolet (Thailand) on Tuesday (February 25) for some sort of compensation.

The Captiva clearance sale has cut the Bt999,000 price to just Bt499,000 while stocks last.

Citing meagre buyer interest in the products, GM is ending production and sales of Chevrolet models and selling its factories in Rayong to China’s Great Wall Motors. More than 1,000 employers will lose their jobs in phases this year and Great Wall says it won’t be rehiring them.

Natthapol Khankaew, speaking for his fellow unhappy customers, said they all bought a Captiva when it was launched last September and the massive discount offered now has tanked the resale value and is having an impact on insurance renewals.

They want remedial measures including the Bt500,000 price difference, or else be allowed to cancel their purchase contracts.

The going-out-of-business sale is “unfair to consumers”, Natthapol said.

“Why should we have to bear the burden [of payment instalments] because of this massive discount? This wasn’t the fault of the consumers. There is also doubt about the credibility of their promise to keep providing aftersales services once sales and operations end in Thailand.”

The disgruntled group also wants legally binding, bumper-to-bumper factory warrantees in writing covering three years or 100,000 kilometres worth of garage work, parts and any manufacturing defects that arise after the half-off sell-out.

Some speculated that the Thai affiliates must have known earlier about the US parent company’s imminent plan to cease operations and yet didn’t notify customers about it. If so, they could be in violation of retail disclosure laws.

The group further called on Chevrolet Thailand to clarify issues regarding insurance premiums and renewals.

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