Motor Expo Most Wanted - Honda

2008 Honda Fit

Yesterday we started looking at cars that we'd like to see making appearances at the upcoming Thailand International Motor Expo.

Today we are going to continue this series with a look at Honda. Honda used the 2005 Thailand International Motor Expo to showcase the current Honda Civic and there is reason to believe that the 2007 Honda CR-V will make its Thai debut at this years show, but let's have some fun and imagine what would happen if Honda brought some interesting cars with them to the 2006 Expo.

Multi-modal logistics solution to Thai transport problem

The Bangkok Post has an interesting article in the business section today regarding multi-modal logistics opportunities.

As oil prices spiral upwards, economies that depend on a disproportionate use of road transport to support their manufacturing and export markets will continue to suffer, if not eventually become moribund.

The article suggests that Thailand is very dependent on oil for its transport requirements, and highlights that any increase in oil prices have a negative impact on the economy. Although we would think that the effect would be felt by competing countries in a similar way, it seems that Thailand's lack of utilisation of alternatives to road transport puts it at a disadvantage. The article continues:

Motor Expo Most Wanted - Fiat!

Fiat Linea

The 2005 Thailand International Motor Expo was a bit of a let down for me. It was my first visit to the show, and having attended the Bangkok Motor Show previously the Expo simply didn't cut it as a motor show.

Sure there were cars, and there were girls, but a motor show should have concept cars. The Motor Expo seemed to only be a means for automakers to present their current models and flog them to visitors.

I will be attending this years show, but I'm not expecting much. In the lead up to the start of the show at the end of the month, I'll be sharing cars from the international motoring scene that are not likely to enter the Thai market, but that I would love to see here. Starting with:

Honda to invest further THB1.15 billion in Ayutthaya

Honda Automobile Thailand Co. are to increase their investment in their Thai operations by expanding their Ayutthaya plant.

The plant will manufacture engine parts which will negate the need to import them from Japan, while also increasing export capacity of auto parts from Thailand.

This brings Honda's total investment in Thailand to over THB16 billion in the 12 years the company has been operating here.

"Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and skilled team in Thailand are seen as a role model for Honda's sites all over the world." So says Honda president Hiroshi Toda.

Mitsubishi recently announced that they would be exporting the Triton from Thailand for sale in the Japanese market.

Don't be surprised if CBU Hondas start going in that direction.

Spyker to join Thai market

Spyker C8

Dutch supercar maker Spyker is set to unleash it's offerings on the Thai public. SL International Automobiles CO plans to import three Spyker models: the C8 Spider, C8 Laviolette and the C8 Double 12S, costing THB 28m, THB 32m, and THB 37m respectively.

The C8 Laviolette is to be introduced in Bangkok tomorrow at the Gaysorn shopping center, but all three cars will be on show at the Bangkok International Motor Expo.

Spyker cars are hand-built in Holland, and if you have a spare 30 million burning a hole in your pocket you will be waiting 1/2 a year for production and delivery of your new wheels.

If you have not seen or heard of Spyker before you should check out their website:

23rd Thailand International Motor Expo

The 23rd Thailand International Motor Expo kicks off on 30th November 2006, with the concept "Bionic, there and everywhere."

Apparently inspired by the rising price of oil, and the need for realistic short-term, practical solutions while long-term replacements are developed.

Exactly how closely exhibitors will stick to this theme is yet to be seen.

The event will be running until the 11th December at Impact Muang Thong Thani.

For more information visit the Motor Expo 2006 site.

Bombs hit eight car showrooms in Thai south

BANGKOK - Bombs hit eight car and motorcycle showrooms in Thailand's rebellious Muslim south almost simultaneously on Thursday, wounding nine people, despite post-coup government gestures to encourage peace, police said.

Police said they had been on the alert for attacks in Yala a day after Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited the city.

"We knew they were going to do these, but we didn't expect the showrooms to be the target," Yala police chief Major General Paitoon Chuchaiya told Reuters by telephone.

TestCar, Independent Car Testing Service in Thailand

TestCar Logo

Last week I was contacted by Shay Garini, the Managing Director and founder of Thailand's first (only) car testing facility, TestCar Co. Ltd.

In a nutshell TestCar is the new best friend for anyone wishing to buy a second-hand car in Thailand, although there are others who will also benefit from their services, but we'll come to that later on.

Is Time Right for Toyota Prius in Thailand?

The Toyota Prius has been an option for environmentally conscious motorists since 1997. Almost a decade later a visit to Toyota Thailand's website contains a short flash presentation of the Prius with the message: "To the Power of Hybrid - Get ready for the new journey."

Are Toyota hinting at a forthcoming release of the Prius on the Thai market? Is the timing right? Will it sell? Should it sell?

Flex Fuel Vehicle Retro Fit

A Brazilian solution to our Gasohol problem? Maybe not, but this device may be of interest to those of you following the Gasohol story here in Thailand.

ABCesso, a Brazilian Technology company, has produced an add-on device which will essentially convert most petrol cars into Flex Fuel Vehicles capable of running E85, pure petrol, or any blend of ethanol and petrol. This would include our local Gasohol 95 (E10).

2007 Honda Stream

Small Stream

The Honda Stream has already been updated to the 2007 model in Japan, and the version currently on sale in Thailand is nearing the end of its life. Although I don't have any official information to go on here, I think that a look at the Japanese model will serve well as a preview of what's in store when the 2007 Stream arrives in Thailand.

3rd Gen Honda CR-V by November

Honda CR-V small image

Honda is to officially debut the 2007 Honda CR-V at the Paris International Motor Show. Ahead of this months event, Honda has released specifications and photos of the 3rd incarnation of their popular SUV.

The CR-V has been struggling badly in Thailand of late. This is not because it’s a bad vehicle by any means, but it’s simply down to Toyota and the Fortuner. It has blown away everything else in the SUV market. The Fortuner is a big piece of metal for the money, with a big engine under it’s big hood. And the money is significantly less than Honda’s asking price for the CR-V.

Thai-built Mitsubishi Triton To Be Exported to 140 Markets


Tokyo, Japan, Feb 13, 2006 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that the exports of the new Triton pickup truck produced at Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MMTh), its local unit in Thailand, are to move onto a full-scale footing in the second half of 2006.

The commencement of full-scale exports announced today follows the start of Triton shipments to Europe (L200 in Europe) in December 2005. Triton is to be shipped a total of about 140 markets around the globe, including Australia, the Middle East, Latin America, the ASEAN region, and Japan.

Disabled Parking - Not Just Abused by "VIPs"

Notice anything unusual about this image?

Nice Parking!

Okay you have to look closely at the ground beneath the delivery bikes. This next image should make matters very clear:

Luxury Cloning

Why would someone in Thailand buy a BMW 7 series? Maybe it's to have something a little bit special? Perhaps to make a statement by differentiating from the "boring" Japanese models out there? Speaking as one who will never own a luxury car I would find it hard to see any real difference between the following images:
Luxury CarAnother Luxury Car
Which is the BMW? What is the other car? Okay, so there are some subtle differences, and these differences are much more apparent from other angles, but even so the similarities are very striking. The lines flowing horizontally are virtually identical, and similarly the door seams are so close to identical you would wonder if the two car makers source the doors from the same supplier!

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