Nissan are not exactly racking up the sales in Thailand, and with a mere 40,000 units sold in the Kingdom in 2007, Nissan will be hoping that 2008 will be a better year. Of course industry sales were lower than forecast in 2007, with just 630,000 units sold, mostly due to the political climate.
But it is a new year, and Nissan are hoping that post-election stability will lead to increased consumer confidence, and perhaps a spending frenzy. But naturally they won't be sitting by and waiting for the sales to pour in. Here's what they have planned.....
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:
Ask the "expert" analysts about the Thai auto market and they will tell you things like: The Thai public hate hatchbacks, they want big cars with big boots, and they want pickup trucks. I think the "experts" are wrong. I think that the Thai motoring public would lap up a Eco-Car, and the sooner Toyota bring the Aygo to Thailand the better.
Of course there are other small cars that could come to Thailand, but the Aygo has the most going for it. First.... it's a Toyota, the company that dominates virtually every segment of the market in Thailand.
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?