Independent premium-vehicle importer Eton Import Co. Ltd. says the outlook for the sector in Thailand is positive, in line with the recovering economy.

Sales and Marketing Director Atcharee Tantiyankul predicts the domestic market will accommodate 5,000 imported luxury vehicles over the next several years, based on the present estimated sales of Thailand's four or five major independent distributors.

“Imported cars receive greater attention nowadays because the products are of high quality and have proved satisfactory to customers, who also trust in the industry operators not to abandon their businesses,” she tells the Bangkok Post.

Aggressive and attractive marketing and promotional campaigns by major car importers also are attracting strong customer interest.

Atcharee says there are nearly 100 operators and auto importers in the country, but most of these do not offer aftersales service.

The exact number of imported premium cars sold currently is not known because overall figures have not been compiled, but Atcharee believes all of the major importers have seen growth this year.

Eton is targeting a 15% full-year sales increase to 800 premium cars, with multipurpose vehicles comprising 65% of that total.

With the Thai auto market booming, Eton’s first-half sales were up 24% to 329 units.

"We're confident of this year’s sales target,” Atcharee says, despite lower first-half results. “We expect stronger sales in the final quarter. That's the seasonal car-buying period.”