Eco Car that gets 35 km/l

Eco Cars are on the way to Thailand, and if you had never been exposed to any news outside of Thailand you'd almost think that it was a new concept.

But, as this video will demonstrate, even today's "small cars" are actually big! And inefficient!

The world's smallest production car:

Thailand gets "old" Sonata?

Hyundai recently launched three models in Thailand, the Sonata being one of them. Now, it seems that the Thai Sonata is already an "old model" as a 2009 facelift is already being unleashed in Korea. It seems a little odd that Hyundai would choose to launch in Thailand with a car that was so close to being updated.

'Ford Mega Exciting Day'

Yes, there is an event called the 'Ford Mega Exciting Day', an official Ford Thailand event to mark the 11th year in Thailand for the company. And despite the name making it seem that it is a one-day event, it is actually a weekend deal.

6-year-old Thai girl sleeps through 6-hour car theft!

There is just so much in this story that is unbelievable, but paradoxically nothing in the story is surprising.

I'm not going to comment further, here is the link to the article.

2007 Bangkok International Motor Show theme

"Drive thru the nature." What is the first thing that enters your head as you read this? For me, and most others that I asked, it conjured up imagery of 4x4 vehicles careering through a forest with total disregard for the flora and fauna being displaced and destroyed. But insects splatted against a windshield, and small animals fleeing in terror, is not the intended direction this years Bangkok International Motor Show slogan is designed to take you.

Old Vios ad

While I was writing the last story about the brand new Toyota Vios, I hit upon this ad for the outgoing model and thought I'd share it. Enjoy:

Typical Thai Bus! No.... really!

Thai Bus

This bus is outrageous, and the first time you see one like it blasting past you on a busy Thai highway you might be forgiven for thinking that someone had slipped something into one of your drink. But soon you will realize that it is necessary if you own a bus in Thailand to make it look at least as crazy as this.

If you haven't seen one of these buses before this article and attached photos should give you some idea.

Nissan Teana lost in translation, but retains rear suspension

In my opinion Nissan Thailand have one of the best websites of any of the auto makers. It's clearly laid out, has a very comprehensive English version, and you have access to all the specifications that tend to be missing from other sites.

But on the specification listing for the Nissan Teana, it would appear that a few details have been lost in translation.

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.

European traffic, order from chaos?

Some European cities are running trials of a new concept in urban traffic management. Seemingly the best way to ensure smooth flowing traffic, and to increase safety in town is to remove the rules, and depend totally on people being responsible.

This from The Spiegel:

"European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs."

Would this work in Bangkok?

You can read more about it on The Spiegel.

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!

Mazda Customer Priorities

Mazda 3

Before creating the 3, Mazda went out and asked their customers for help in defining the car. They asked what the global market wanted in a car and then went to work creating a car to match those demands. Sounds good right? This should mean that the resulting car will meet the needs of the target market.

Well, it would work out like that if they asked their customers rather than asking school kids, as seems to be the case.

Proposed 50k New Car Tax

I just picked up a copy of "Automotive - Grand Prix International" and read a headline "Auto makers against extra Bt50,000 tax."

Of course they are against this ill-conceived proposal by Transport Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal. His plan is simple, I'll give it that. Basically it would mean that 50,000 baht would be added to all new automobile purchases, resulting in a big pile of extra cash for the government, cash which would be "channeled into a special fund which will be used to finance road construction in the needy provinces throughout Thailand", according to Grand Prix International.

Would you pay 8.4 million baht for a 2.7 million baht car?

In Thailand there are good value cars and bad value cars. Most of the good value ones are built in Thailand, and so benefit from lower tax rates than fully-built-up imported cars. For example, I would consider a Toyota Soluna Vios to be good value for money with prices starting at just under 500,000 baht. An imported Peugeot 206 with a smaller engine and less power costs 895,000 baht, and so would not really be considered good value. Are you with me?

Now lets look at the Corvette Z06. A car that costs approximately US$67,000 (around 2.7 million baht) in the States. Would you consider it good value... or even great value if it was going to cost you 8.4 million baht (over US$200,000)? Well at least one person does.

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