Funny Thai insurance advertisement

This is a pretty cool Thai insurance company ad from a few years back. I've learned to expect the unexpected when traveling in Thailand, and have witnessed some similarly incredible incidents on Thai roads. Although it has to be said that none of them ended as neatly as this fictitious example.

Toyota to take law into own hands - drunks can't drive!

Drink driving is a global problem. Despite the best efforts of legislators and education campaigns, otherwise sensible folk still feel it is acceptable to drive while intoxicated. The result is thousands of senseless deaths in Thailand each year.

New Year Revelations - Forecast for 2007

Captiva Small

As 2006 draws to a close many people seem interested in reviewing the year that was, but would rather look to the future. Before we get into our 2007 forecast, be aware that these are our predictions and might not be entirely accurate.

Although we can't guarantee anything, the information in this preview might be of some use in identifying models that are approaching end of life.

So without further ado, let's get back to the future and see what 2007 (2550) will bring.

5 dead in drunk driving crash

It's that time of year again. Some call it the silly season, but there are many silly seasons on Thai roads.

At this time of year the already dreadful death toll rises. In part this is because more people take to the roads, traveling upcountry for new year, but the bigger cause of "accidents", is drink driving.

Hydrogen: The Answer. What was the question?

Honda FCX is a car site, not a science site, so if you are looking for loads of detail for a science project, or you want to build your own fuel cell car, then you might find this article is a little light on technical details.

If you want to know what hydrogen will mean to us, then I hope you will find this article insightful and perhaps it will make you think more about the issue, something many in the auto and energy industries don't seem to be doing.

So, what is all the fuss about? Why is so much effort and money being spent on hydrogen "power"?

Quality of new vehicles improving year on year


According to study results issued by JD Power Asia Pacific, the quality of new cars manufactured in Thailand has risen for the third year running.

Thailand Initial Quality Study 2006, asked 3,413 owners to rate the quality of new vehicles they purchased between January and July. The study measures 135 problem areas within 9 major categories: ride, handling and braking; features and controls; seats; heating, ventilation and cooling; sound system; vehicle exterior; vehicle interior; engine; and transmission.

The performance for vehicles is then rated in terms of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with lower scores indicating higher quality levels.

New drunk driving laws on the way

There was a piece in The Nation yesterday about proposed amendments to the Land Transport Act 1979, which will make alcohol tests mandatory for drunk drivers. Those who refuse the test will be considered to be drunk and punished accordingly.

According to the article, the proposals should be in effect in time for the 2007 Songkran Festival.

Anti-Fogging windshields

Windscreen fogging, although not much of an issue in Thailand, is set to be combated by nanotechnology.

Apparently an electrically conductive coating which uses nanotechnology can be applied to the windshield across its entire surface, and heated to deal with fogging – without the problem of obstructive wires present in the rear window heaters currently in use.

According to Nanowerk the technology might make its way to market in the next couple of years.

Thailand Coup damaged Thailand's auto ambitions

If you have been following the Thai automotive scene over the last decade or so you will be aware of the rapid growth of the industry. Aspirations to become the "Detroit of Asia" is the obsessive driving force behind the Thai auto industry, and the term has been flashed around so regularly by policy makers and the media in Thailand that I'm starting to ignore it completely.

The auto manufacturing industry is very important to Thailand, and the goal is to become one of the top-10 auto manufacturers in the world by 2010. But is this possible for a nation that only seems to know how to make pickup trucks?

Tata take another look at Thai market

Over a year ago Indian auto company Tata Motors had a flirt with Thai Rung Union Car Plc, but it resulted in a dead end. Now it seems that Tata have found a new partner to assist them in entering the Thai market.

Tata will have a very tough time breaking into the Thai market, primarily because they have chosen the most competitive segment of the market to attack... the 1 ton pickup truck market!

They better have something better than this planned for the Thai market. The TL is powered by a 2 liter turbo diesel, and apparently has such advanced features as "Headlamps", "Power steering", and "Ventilation". Apparently it is a class leading package in India.

2007 Nissan Navara to end Toyota/Isuzu dominance?

Nissan's Navara made a underwhelming appearance at the Thailand International Motor Expo, but when it hits the showrooms early next year, the impact it makes on the segment should be anything but.

Now if you don't live in America, Australia or indeed Thailand, you are probably thinking "but it's just a truck, what's all the excitement about a pickup truck?"

It's no secret that pickup trucks are by far the most popular choice of 4 wheeled transport in Thailand. I'd love to be able to dismiss the truck as a crazy choice for anyone except farmers, but the reasons for owning a pickup in Thailand are more compelling than you might realize. But that's a whole other topic.

"Benz" ending the year with THB28,000 installment offer

Daimler Chrysler (Thailand) is launching a new irresistible Star Choice campaign to shake up the luxury car market with low down payment and incredibly small installments for every C-Class and E-Class Mercedes Benz until 28th of December this year.

Mr. Wolfgang Erhard Huppenbauer, President & CEO, said, "Both C-Class and E-Class are most welcomed by Thai consumers and they reflect Mercedes Benz's success as a leader of the luxury car section in the market."

"To satisfy the needs of people who want to own this high performance automobile and to show gratitude for all the support we have, we are launching Star Choice campaign, which allows the lowest installments ever!"

Chevrolet extends warranty by 2 years

Chevrolet Logo

Chevrolet has announced an extension of its warranty duration by an additional 2 years, or an additional 100,000km, which ever comes first. This effectively means that all new Chevrolet models in Thailand come with the peace-of-mind of a 5-year, 200,000km warranty.

The program is called "Chevrolet Platinum Warranty" and will be introduced to the entire Chevrolet network throughout Thailand.

Mr. John Thomson, Sales and Marketing Vice President for Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd., expects to finish out 2006 with a total of 35,000 unit sales in Thailand, consisting of 25,000 Colorados, 6,000 Optras and 4,000 Aveos.

French built Peugeot 207 makes it to Thailand

Peugeot 207 small

Peugeot is attempting to latch onto a perceived trend for compact cars in Thailand with the launch of the Peugeot 207, being imported in CBU form.

According to the Thai newspaper Yuadyarn (Automobile), Peugeot is targeting the 207 at those who want to change from big executive cars, to compact ones that suite the city lifestyle.

Peugeot must maintain this effort of pitching its cars at the executive and luxury markets, not because they are particularly luxurious or have natural executive appeal, but because they are simply too expensive in Thailand to appeal to normal folks, in the way that they do in Europe.

More Thailand International Motor Expo 2006 Photos

Last Thursday I popped up a bunch of photos from this year's Motor Expo. Although I remarked that the show was a bit disappointing, I do want to point out that I'm a car fanatic, and I still enjoyed being able to feast my eyes on some of the most beautiful cars around.

As a follow up to last weeks coverage of the show, I have a second installment of photos to offer. If you still haven't visited the Expo, then you still have a few more days to venture down to Impact, and perhaps these photos will influence you in that direction.

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