As the Covid-19 situation in the country is easing, automakers are hoping to grow sales and are showing off latest products at the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS), which officially kicks off today at IMPACT Challenger Muangthongthani.
During the first two months of this year, auto sales in Thailand have plunged by 16.3 per cent to 114,168 units as the new wave of Covid-19 infections hit the Kingdom.
More than 30 automobile and motorcycle brands are participating in the show, which enters its 42nd year with the theme “Shaping the next chapter”.
While auto companies are hoping to revive lost sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a new spike earlier this year, some, like Great Wall Motors from China (GWM), are just making an introduction.
GWM had just officially announced its entry into the Thai market, and is taking part in its first Thai motor show with highlights being the Haval H6 hybrid (global premiere), POER EV electric pickup and ORA Good Cat/Black Cat fully-electric city cars.
Retail pricing of models to be sold in Thailand have not been finalized by GWM Thailand, but executives said that it will start taking orders before the end of the second quarter.
The growing number of EVs at the show also includes exotic models such as the Audi e-tron GT (Bt6.39 million to Bt9.49 million), which has just been officially launched in Europe last month and boasts a range of 480-500kms on a single charge, as well as the more affordable Volvo XC40 Recharge Full Electric priced at Bt2.59 million. Lexus is also in the race, with its highlight being the UX 300 e electric crossover.
Meanwhile, BMW is taking a sporty approach this year and is highlighting the M4 Competition, powered by a twin-turbo 510-hp 3.0-liter straight-six engine.
Mercedes-Benz is banking on PHEV technology, this time coming with the GLE 350 de PHEV that comes with a diesel-electric powertrain and has an extended EV range of 100kms.
Major Japanese automakers do not have new models this year and are promoting special versions of their current model line-up in Thailand.
But fairly new are the Mazda BT-50 and Nissan Navara facelift that includes the attractive PRO-4X model.
Ford is offering a special version of its Ranger pickup called the FX4 MAX. Coming with a twin-turbo 213-hp engine and FOX shock absorbers plus other accessories, it has already been nicknamed “Baby Raptor”, in comparison to the range-topping Ranger Raptor model.
MG’s highlight is the facelift Extender pickup, which boasts a huge chrome front grille and largest body in the pickup market. Subaru, meanwhile, comes with the new Outback 2.5i Eyesight that comes with Subaru’s famous boxer engine and all-wheel-drive system.
Super-luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is also present, with models such as the new Ghost, Wraith and Cullinan being shown, along with Aston Martin, Bentley and Porsche, which showed a Taycan EV featuring exterior styling by Naraya, the famous Thai women’s handbag and accessories brand.
The MC20 is the latest supercar from Maserati, powered by a twin-turbo V6 engine with 630hp and a top speed of 325km/h.
Apart from automobiles and motorcycles, a large amount of show space is taken up by accessories booth, ranging from maintenance products to wheels and tires.