[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2013.
The Thai Automotive industry was the third largest industry in the country and contributed
nearly 12% of Thai GDP in 2010. Thailand is projected to be in the world’s top ten
vehicle production countries by 2015. In 2011, the country produced 1.8 million vehicles
and 600,000 units were for domestic consumption. The luxury car industry in Thailand
represents roughly 5% of the total automotive market in 2011. Luxury car consumption
in Thailand reached its peak in 1995 with the domestic consumption of 23,265 units.
In 1997, Thailand triggered the world economic meltdown by devaluing the Thai currency.
Consequently, luxury car sale volume then dropped to 3,383 units in 1998. Since then
Thailand’s automotive industry has gone through a series of changes through political
unrest (military coup – 2007, red shirt protest - 2010), global economy (US sub-prime
crisis - 2008), and natural disaster (Japan’s tsunami – 2011, Thailand’s mega flood
– 2011). For the past decade, luxury car sales volume has stagnated at around 10,000
units, despite Thailand’s GDP averaging growth of 7%. The study of the Thai luxury
car industry provides a unique opportunity to probe the industry led by international
firms entering fierce competition to win local consumers. This study looks through
consumers’ buying criteria and reasons why Thai consumers purchase highly priced luxury
cars. The study explores the roles of innovations in the Thai luxury car industry.
When services are packaged with core products, this package attempt is classified
as ‘service encapsulation’. The study explores the role of service encapsulation in
Thailand and the key players who deliver values of service encapsulation. A mixed
research methodology approach was used, starting with 30 face-to-face interviews with
executives who run Thai luxury car companies and other key stakeholders. Findings
and outcomes are used to design the questionnaire of ‘Service Encapsulation in Thailand
Luxury Car Industry’. The survey includes 206 survey participants. Outcomes from the
qualitative and quantitative parts are integrated with the literature on innovation
and service innovation to come up with a Service Encapsulation Commercialization Framework.
The framework aims to provide insight on the interplay among four key elements: internal
parties, external parties, social factors and service encapsulation enablers, based
on the original work of Sundbo and Gallouj (2000). The study provides insights on
how organizations can maximize returns on innovation through service encapsulation,
by using the Thai luxury car market as a case study.