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Autobacs to team up with gas station operator in Thailand

Japanese car parts seller seeks greener pastures as home market shrinks

Car navigation units on sale at car goods distributor Super Autobacs in Tokyo.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese autoparts retailer Autobacs Seven is entering into a capital partnership with Thai petroleum distributor PTG Energy, with plans to launch 50 retail locations offering both repairs and parts at PTG filling stations over five years.

PTG will take a 40% stake in a Thai unit of Autobacs for 200 million yen ($1.82 million).

The companies will staff each location with four or five people, training them in Autobacs' car repair know-how. The duo will also jointly promote the services. PTG has several million loyalty card members.

Autobacs also aims to expand its seven independent locations in Thailand to 130 in five years. While operations there now run at a loss, the hope is to turn a profit in 2020 through increased sales.

Japan's autoparts market has suffered from a downturn in new-car sales. Given the shrinking population and waning interest in cars among younger generations, Autobacs is seeking new opportunities in the growing Thai market instead.

(Nikkei)

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