Now for something a little different. Most people visiting this site are more than a little into cars. And the fact that I've been blogging about them for over 3 years might suggest that I'm also a little car crazy.
Here is a video to help keep things in perspective. There are many things more important than cars, starting with our relationship with Jesus Christ. There is a well known fact that what you drive says something about you. But it might not work exactly the way you think.
Nissan didn't wait for the Bangkok Motor Show to launch the all new Nissan Teana, it has been in Nissan showrooms across the country days ahead of the show. Although I haven't had a chance to drive the Teana yet, here are my first impression from sitting in the car and playing around with everything.
Auto sales in Thailand were 30.7 percent in February than the same month last year. This is the ninth consecutive month of decline and the largest drop since June 2008. Although things are looking quite grim, there is expectation that things will pick up at the end of March when the Bangkok International Motor Show kicks off.
It is no secret that running red lights is dangerous. This video shows some examples of the kind of accidents that can result from efforts to safe a few minutes/seconds at the lights. The video is a compilation of surveillance footage from junctions/intersections around Thailand, and you should be warned that you may find some of the accidents disturbing.
Although most automakers seem to be trying hard to keep a positive attitude in the face of a dramatic slow down in the industry, few are as optimistic as Hyundai Thailand. The company is eyeing 63% growth this year, and is already looking forward to introducing new cars.
Of course Hyundai can realise this 63% growth by achieving sales of just 1,500 units this year, compared to about 900 units in 2008. Hyundai's big seller is the H1, a people mover/VAN that offers good value for money despite coming into the country in CBU (completely built up) form. Hyundai will introduce a freshened up version of the H1, to be kitted out with some extra equipment, at the upcoming Bangkok Motor Show.
The situation for the global auto industry is looking increasingly bleak, and here in Thailand things are no different, with the industry posting sales figures for January that show a drop in sales of almost 30% when compared to January 2008.
Passenger car sales are down by about 10% which isn't actually all that bad. But commercial vehicle sales dipped almost 40% to just 18,558 units.
An email forward has been circulating for a while now, that outlines the locations of the intersection cameras designed to capture images of cars running red lights in Bangkok. Although many criticise governments for using speed cameras, I am less critical of this measure, as there should never be a good reason to run a red light. This practise results in many needless accidents and deaths in Thailand.
Hopefully this measure will prevent some deaths. Please don't ever be tempted to run the red light.
The replacement Nissan Teana is due very soon and more details are starting to appear. Some of these merely confirm earlier speculation (read previous article on 2009 Nissan Teana here.), but there are some interesting details that give us a clear indication that Nissan is attempting to raise the bar in the segment.
When Nissan introduced the Teana, it was a major departure from the styling of the car it replaced, the Cefiro. But more than simply redefine the face of the Japanese automakers flagship sedan, it also marked the start of a brand-wide style change.
If you haven't driven in Thailand you might not be familiar with the whistle blowers that are employed by hotels, department stores, and other businesses to help direct the traffic, and to assist with car parking etc.
As if the sound of a screeching whistle wasn't enough to put you off, the directions given by these whistle blowers is often very confusing, and I often wonder if some of them have ever been behind the wheel of a car.
Do you know the proper technique for jump starting a car with a flat battery? Maybe you do, or maybe you think you do. Either way it can't hurt to read this so that there isn't any doubt.
First, I'd like to dispel a commonly held misconception that connecting a healthy battery to a flat battery can damage the good battery, or the car that it is in.
This is not true. If you do it right it will not cause any harm at all.
The other common misconception is that you need to connect the negative terminals first. This is also bogus. In fact, you connect the positive terminals first!
Nissan could be the first automaker to introduce its Thai eco car. According to the Bangkok Post, Nissan could have its car to market as soon as October 2009.
It still isn't clear which car Nissan will use for the project, but the March seems likely candidate. The March, also known as the Micra, is currently a Japanese/European car, but the 2010 March (due out near the end of 2009), is to be more of a global model, and this would make it ideal for the eco car project.
In this article we take a look at the Chevrolet Volt and try to work out if it is really worth waiting for. Will it actually give the Prius a run for its money? Is it the way forward?
What is the Volt?
The Chevrolet Volt is GM's answer to the assault of the Toyota Prius. The Prius is the top selling hybrid car in the world. When the Volt project was announced, oil prices were climbing steadily higher, pushing more and more buyers away from the SUVs that GM had been enjoying so much success with in the preceding years.
GM finally woke up to the threat posed by a combination of high oil prices and the apparent surge in popularity of affordable hybrid cars. The company reacted in true American fashion, by setting their engineers a seemingly impossibly difficult task to complete in an impossibly small time frame. The Volt was that task.
GM/Holden is to take advantage of a Federal Government AUS$6 billion car plan, and build a four-cylinder car in Australia starting in 2010. The car is to be based on the Chevrolet Cruze, a global car that GM hopes will help to turn things around.
On paper the Proton Persona CNG is a winner. The specifications look good, and the price is very reasonable. The Persona undercuts rivals on price, while seemingly offering more. But this is all on paper.
This week I got behind the wheel of the Persona CNG, and would like to share my opinions after a short drive. I'm going to focus mainly on the ride quality, comfort, and performance in this article. Where applicable I'll also draw some comparisons to other cars in this segment.
There is an interesting article in this week's Bangkok Post Motoring section that raises the issue of needless oil and tire changes, under the advice of those supplying these products.
Check it out. You could save yourself a few baht.