The 2016 Thailand International Motor Expo hosted vehicle debuts and three concept cars from a total of 37 global automakers showing their latest offerings to the market and region. It was however, a slightly sombre mood for the 33rd Motor Expo, as the kingdom continues to mourn the passing of its beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Nissan brought in the Navara EnGuard Concept, a bespoke rescue truck, which recently debuted at this year’s Paris Motor Show. Mitsubishi highlighted their display with the XM Concept, which is dubbed as a “Crossover-MPV”. The 7-seater XM Concept was debuted recently at GIIAS in Indonesia where it is likely to be built; it recently made a trip to the Philippine International Motor Show.
Hyundai brought in the rather odd-looking Enduro Concept, a 3-door crossover closely resembling the Veloster. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo mated to a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The Enduro was debuted at last year’s Seoul Motor Show. Global automotive giant Toyota set the stage for the ASEAN debut of its updated Corolla Altis in time for the world’s best selling car’s 40th anniversary year. The 2017 update of the Corolla Altis gives it a sharper looking fascia showing more of the Japanese automaker’s new design language. The rear gets sleeker tail lamps as well. Flanking it were the Sienta compact MPV and a special edition TRD Sportivo Yaris in bright yellow. Jaguar F-Pace makes its Thai debut through its local distributor to lead a host of debuts from other European brands like Porsche which launched the 718 Boxster and Spyder models.
Volvo launched its new S90 flagship sedan, while Peugeot unveiled the new 308 SW. BMW displayed a limited-edition Protonic Red Edition i8. Thai beverage company Singha displayed some of its officially sponsored race cars and race boats which include two Ferrari 488 Challenge race cars and a Seat Leon TCR stamping its presence in the global scene.
“The event this year has the full cooperation of all exhibitors of cars, bikes, audio equipment and accessories who decorate their booths beautifully and yet simply, while ensuring that their pretties are well-covered in the style befitting the current situation and the overall image of the Motor Expo,” said Kwanchai Paphatphong, the Motor Expo Chairman.
Those who are familiar with major Thai auto shows will notice that all exhibitors will have tall and beautiful girls with lovely smiles. They were of course, clad in a more conservative and less vibrant manner this year. Car audio and accessory booths also lined the halls to give current car owners some personalisation options for their vehicles. On the business side of things, organisers are expecting about 50,000 vehicle bookings and around 1,500,000 visitors to this year’s Motor Expo. An improved economic climate and customers who availed of the first-car program would have reached the 5-year ownership term. An estimated 50 million THB total turnover is expected for this year’s event.