This year’s motor show had some interesting
developments in car technology, some new (and old) concept cars and
whole range of motor cars which can be seen just as easily in your
local petrol station. It costs money for the manufacturers to
exhibit, so I find it amazing that many do not try and capitalize on
For example, somebody in GM needs a shake-up. A large display area
with Optras, Captivas, Colorados and Aveos, but nothing to excite
the senses of the motoring public. Goodness me, GM has concept cars
all over the globe, including the Chevrolet Volt, which Bob Lutz
(GM’s car guru) says will be in production by 2010, and we got a
handful of ‘ordinary’ motor cars. No inspiration at all.
GM were not the only ones. Mazda has just won the World Car of the
Year award with the Mazda2. They are spending large amounts of money
to get the assembly line up and running to produce these cars in
Thailand in 2009 and will be exporting from here. This is a
momentous occasion. Did they have a Mazda2 here for us to see? No.
They did have some tricked up Mazda3’s from Australia and a CX9
which you cannot buy here and a solitary MX5.
Ford at least did have a Ford Verve concept from the New York motor
show, this being the car which will also be built on the Eastern
Seaboard and exported as the Ford Fiesta. You could also get your
nails polished. I didn’t bother, but they did have the Verve, so I
Yontrakit had a rather gorgeous (and expensive) Citroen C6 on their
totally cluttered stand, and nobody to tell the press any details.
This car has a definite resemblance with the CX series of many years
ago, and when you opened the door, you were met with that wonderful
smell of tanned leather, and a herd of cows must have been
sacrificed in its production. Nice car, but the press should not
have to resort to the internet to get information at an
international motor show.
The stand that did attract attention was the Tata Motors exhibit.
Their cheap pick-up Xenon range, which will be produced in Bangkok,
was exhibited well, and the Indians did try. I am sure you would
have been able to get a suit within 24 hours if you ordered a Xenon!
The Indica sedan looked interesting too, but I believe it is not
destined for this country. At the release of the Xenon, their GM for
Thailand also indicated that Tata Motors will be in the eco-car race
as well, with what is most likely going to be their el-cheapo Tata
Nano. With Tata also having bought Jaguar and Land-Rover, Tata will
have the top and bottom of the marketplace. As General Custer found
out to his chagrin, the Indians are coming!
Another country on the move is Malaysia, with Naza displaying their
Forza, though “Forza Naza” does not have the melodious ring of
“Forza Ferrari”. The Forza comes from China and is assembled by
Malaysia’s Naza. It was being displayed at the Bangkok show with a
price tag of 349,000 baht and you could finance it over 72 months
for 4,453 baht per month, about the equivalent of bus fares. It was
certainly getting interested potential buyers. But where was Proton?
This other Malaysian company is (reputedly) doing market penetration
exercises with appointment of dealers throughout the Kingdom, but
chose to stay away. Are they loose a couple of screws in the ECU, or
More on the Motor Show next week.
A Tat Xenon covered in