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Niyom launches new Toyota Hilux Vigo

Chiang Mai businesses on the upswing

Niyom launches new Toyota Hilux Vigo

The 7th generation of Hilux pick-ups

Micheal Vogt

Last Wednesday, the all-new Toyota Hilux ‘Vigo’ was introduced to the local media, organized by local dealer Niyom Phanich’s Senior Vice Managing Director Suthipong Chindasilp. In his outgoing and vivid presentation, Suthipong not only outlined the remarkable benefits of the new vehicle, but also explained the reasons why he foresees that his ambitious goals of selling at least 400 Toyota Hilux Vigos to Chiang Mai residents will be realised. “It’s simply a fantastic new car, as comfortable as it is economic, yet sporty at the same time,” Suthipong said. “I want locals to drive a safe, yet comfortable car but I know for many businesses you need to have a Pick up. The new Hilux generation combines the comfort of a limousine with the heavy duty engine and big loading area which is needed by most business men,” he said.

Niyom Phanich’s senior vice managing director, Suthipong Chindasilp and his new ‘baby’. (Picture: Michael Vogt)

The new pick-up is part of Toyota Motor’s IMV Project (Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicles) in which models are designed for sale in more than 140 countries to meet the needs of today’s customers in their demands for high levels of durability and comfort.

To do this, Toyota has retained the tried and true cab-on-chassis design, front engined and rear wheel drive. Simple and durable. Suspension has been given much attention, and the buyer of a Vigo will find that the ride is much more like a sedan than a stiffly sprung pick-up.

Steering is also improved with rack and pinion being part of the raft of changes between the Vigo and its fore-runners from Toyota.

Powerwise the Vigo is a market leader, with both the 2.5 and 3 litre variants sporting intercoolers and larger turbo-chargers, and these new D4D commonrail diesels are also more powerful than their predecessors in the Hilux Tigers (and incidentally, more powerful than the rivals in this category).

In the interior, creature comforts are again much more like a sedan than a pick-up, and this new vehicle from Toyota will produce its own marketplace, giving the best of both worlds, both practical and comfortable. This is probably the best value ‘town and country’ family vehicle in sale locally.

Chiang Mai businesses on the upswing

Local consultancy predicts medium-term positive developments

Staff Reporters

Whilst some businesses remark that this low season is the worst they have ever experienced, the future for Northern Thailand looks relatively bright according to Sunbelt Asia’s managing director, Garwood Weatherhead. Sunbelt Asia has over 350 offices located throughout the world, represented in 16 countries.

Garwood Weatherhead, GM of Sunbelt Asia

Speaking about the business segments he primarily deals with here in Chiang Mai, he said that restaurants, hotels, manufacturing businesses, and factories are currently on the top of the list. Currently they have a list of 15,000 potential buyers. “Foreigners are without doubt looking at the North of Thailand. Although Sunbelt has very good results in Bangkok, Phuket and Samui, those areas have become very expensive, and investors are looking into northbound alternatives,” says Garwood.

Additionally, a great number of older people are looking to enjoy their retirement years both in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Garwood agrees, “Having spent 18 years with the Asian Development Bank, I came to Thailand in 1999. I started the office here in Chiang Mai about two years ago, and have never regretted the move here.”

Sunbelt Asia also works with franchises looking to expand to Asia, and helps to develop franchises for local Thai firms. This includes facilitating business acquirement for Asians in the USA.