By Kingsley Wijayasinha
The Nation Weekend
VISITORS TO this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show will get a good chance to check out the latest trends and sales promotions for automobiles.
More than 1.6 million people are expected to come to the 12-day event, held at IMPACT Muangthong Thani.
This year’s event has a good mix of highlights from every segment, ranging from luxury cars, supercars, passenger cars as well as pickup trucks and SUVs.
A total of 33 auto brands and 14 motorcycle brands are participating this year.
A larger number of automakers are also introducing electric vehicles (EVs), although most are targeted at the upper market.
The Audi e-tron is a full electric luxury SUV that is priced at slightly over Bt5 million, while the Jaguar I-Pace is priced at Bt5.499 million. Both claim operating ranges of over 400 kilometres on a single full charge.
BMW’s highlight is the X7 SUV and the Z4 roadster (the new 3 Series also come with an AI personal assistant), while arch-rival Mercedes-Benz is putting the S 560 e plugin hybrid on the centrestage. The highlight at the Lexus stand is the UX 250h hybrid SUV.
Nissan’s LEAF EV is a more affordable model retailing at the Bt2 million neighbourhood, but consumers looking for an affordable EV with regular body size might still have to wait further. Otherwise, FOMM offers a range of small EVs that are great for low-speed use.
A large number of supercars take up positions around the Challenger Hall. They include McLaren, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche and Aston Martin (which is wowing visitors with the Valkyrie AMR. Even Toyota is showing off its reincarnated Supra sports car, which is co-developed with BMW’s Z4. Small-car expert Suzuki is making a comeback into the small SUV market with the Jimny, which brings back memories of the widely popular Caribbean in the past. MG is also entering a new segment, introducing the V80 van.
Honda and Toyota will be battling out in the hybrid sedan market with the Accord and Camry, both priced under Bt2 million, while Ford is attracting more customers to its Mustang stable. The Ford Ranger Raptor is also gaining customers looking for high-end pickup trucks.
Apart from the chance to buy cars, there are also other activities at the Bangkok Motor Show, including a large number of car club meetings, driver training events and off-road driving.