Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted March 29, 2010 12:36
Saving the Earth with Eco technologies
The 2010 Bangkok International Motor Show went on full swing as the show celebrated its 31st anniversary and played host once again to several new vehicle debuts and concept car displays. Despite the current political situation, organizer Grand Prix International remained unfazed in their vision of showing the Thai Automotive Industry to the world arena.
"Ecology Driving - Save the Earth" is the theme of this year's show, which is a follow up of the 2009 theme aiming to show solutions for sustainable mobility. Manufacturers continued to highlight their CNG, electric, E85-capable vehicles, and hybrid technologies as well as their new offerings. Organizers are expecting about 1.8-million visitors to the twelve-day show. As the official signal to start the car buying season for the Thai motoring public as it expects to close some 20,000 vehicle deals amounting to about Bt45-billion.
Some major highlights of the show were the World Debut of the Nissan March, which has already received a 5,000-unit pre-order in its first week; Honda's new Small Car Concept and U3-x personal mobility vehicle concept; the Lexus LF-A and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which MB Thailand will be offering in right-hand-drive for Bt24,999,000. The Lexus LF-Ch, Suzuki Kizashi, Suzuki X, Toyota RIN were also among the concept cars displayed at the show.
Local debuts were staged for the BMW X1, face-lifted Chevrolet Colorado and All-Roader SUV, Ford Fiesta Sedan, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Soul, Lotus Exige Scura, Mazda2 Sedan, Proton Exora MPV and Savvy subcompact, and the face-lifted Volvo C30. Toyota displayed the face-lifted Vios set to arrive in Philippine shores early April and the ASEAN Camry Hybrid, which has sold 700 units already in its first month of introduction. A special display consisted of a Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, Bentley Continental GT and flanked by a fleet of white Audis led by the R8 can be found in the annex hall.
Motorcycle giants Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha also took the opportunity to launch their latest offerings and concept bikes as well as the Stallion and Vespa marques. Meanwhile, top in-car entertainment installers, window film companies and parts suppliers filled the halls of the aftermarket accessories tent just outside the main halls. Some of the support events are the Bangkok Auto Salon, car audio competition at the main parking area and the car club meets. Not to be forgotten of course, are the gorgeous smiles that go along with the cars; surely Bangkok is not called "Land of Smiles" for nothing.
Show organization Chairman Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow shared in a private interview with select foreign media guests that next year's show will be staged in its new venue at the IMPACT Challenger in Muang Thong Thani, which is a 60,000 square-meter facility three-times the size of the current main hall of the BITEC Center. Next years event will also utilize all eight halls of the IMPACT Exhibition Center, which total about 47,000 square meters. The Bangkok Motor Show is expected to be at par in size with its western counterparts as it moves to its new home for the event's 32nd anniversary in 2011.