Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted March 23, 2016 13:48
37th Bangkok Motor Show aims to jumpstart Thai auto industry
The first ASEAN auto show of the year opened its doors in Bangkok to a projected 1.8 million visitors with the theme 'No Boundaries Mobility'. The 37th Bangkok International Motor Show aims to jumpstart the Thai automotive industry, recovering from its slowdown in 2015.
This year’s motor show is the first major event to 'welcome' the Thai government's new carbon tax scheme which places levies on vehicles which consume more fuel and emit more CO2, hence the focus on boundless innovation in mobility. A total of 27 automotive brands and dozens more aftermarket companies and coach builders were present at the annual automotive industry opener of the region.
Aston Martin lit up the trade hall with the Asia Pacific debut of its bright metallic orange DB11 sports tourer. It also brought in the DB10, specially made for the recent James Bond Spectre film.
Rolls-Royce introduced the Bespoke Ghost Extended Wheelbase KoChaMongKol as its first customized model for Thailand and launched the new Dawn convertible as well.
McLaren displayed its 650S and 570S in a very minimalistic fashion, letting the cars speak for themselves.
Porsche held the Thai debut of its updated 911 Carrera model as it shared the stage with the Cayman GT4 and other stablemates.
Subaru made the first set of reveals as they staged the ASEAN debut of the Viziv Future Concept and made the Southeast Asian launch of the updated Forester crossover. A stunt driving show by Russ Swift was also being held in a nearby parking lot.
Toyota brought the C-HR (Coupe High Ride) concept to the show to preview the model recently debuted in Geneva earlier this month. It also displayed TRD Sportivo versions of the Fortuner, Yaris and Hilux, signaling its desire to capture business in the styling and tuning industry. The recently updated Vios B-segment sedan, powered by the new Dual-VVT-i engine, was also on display. It also displayed an ESport version of the Camry, featuring the North American market's styling.
Serving the main highlight at this show however would be Chevrolet as they unveiled the much-awaited updates to their pickup and SUV models with the Colorado Xtreme and Trailblazer Premier concepts. The new fascia follows the new design language of the brand’s truck lineup, which was previewed by the US-market Colorado in 2013.
Fellow American marque, Ford, held the Thai market launch of the updated Focus C-segment fighter.
Honda made its presence felt with the newly launched 10th-generation Civic as it showed its complete offering from base 1.8-liter powered versions to the top-spec 1.5-liter VTEC turbo powered RS version and Modulo styled versions as well. Also on display was the recently updated Accord.
Mitsubishi decided to introduce slight updates to its Triton (Strada) pickup, featuring an updated drivetrain (Super Select 4WD II) with rear differential lock, new steering wheel and a new limited variant for the Thai market.
Suzuki introduced a new 'limited edition' Sai version to its Swift hatchback and displayed the Dreza version of its Ertiga MPV.
Nissan officially launched its NISMO tuning brand in Thailand, initially offering a tuned version of its Almera B-segment sedan with the NISMO GT-R sharing the limelight.
BMW continued its centennial celebration at the Bangkok Motor Show, its display was highlighted by the i8 and the minuscule Isetta which is considered to be responsible for the brand’s presence to this day. They were flanked by its full model lineup offered for the Thai market. Mini launched the Cooper Convertible model for the local market.
Mercedes-Benz held the Thai debut of the new E-Class with the E220d model taking the stage.
The Bangkok International Motor Show would not be complete of course without the lovely smiles of the Miss Motorshows and presenters of the different brands represented at the annual event. Find more of them in our photo gallery below.
Major car audio and aftermarket brands joined the automotive marques in the main hall. In the adjacent display area was the Aftermarket Hall, featuring more auto accessories, wheels, tire, tools and lighting.
The two-week automotive expo expects to help sell tens of thousands of new cars in anticipation of the traditional Thai New Year called Songkran as people return to their hometown with new cars as a sign of prosperity.
All that being said, the show is definitely one that a car enthusiast should miss going to personally with its relative proximity to the Philippines.