Consumer tastes differ
Many auto manufacturers want to use the same marketing strategy across global markets, meaning that the vehicles produced would have the same quality and features in whichever part of the world they are purchased.
The auto-makers think that consumers around the world are entitled to use vehicles that are equally good, and this kind of thinking can actually be correct.
In reality, however, this may not be the case. A popular product in one market may not achieve the same level of success in another market with different consumer tastes. This is a lesson we often learn when you have a large number of products in one market.
Overseas markets, especially Europe and the United States, would include the towing capacity in the brochures of pickup trucks or SUVs. This is because users in those markets need to know if the vehicle is able to tow their boats or mobile homes.
However, consumers in Thailand couldn't care less about towing capacity because barely a few would use a vehicle for that purpose. The small number of people who do would just tow boats in tourist destinations such as Pattaya or Phuket.
Mobile homes are even more rare in Thailand as there are no mobile home parks in service. There is also the risk factor when parking a mobile home, as crime could take place in that spot.
Thais also have different habits from foreigners, and some aspects of Thai lifestyle are not suitable for mobile homes. For example, Thai tourists love to drink and sing, and are not worried whether the noise they make will disturb other tourists.
So mobile homes that are popular elsewhere are unpopular in Thailand. The only people who have them are singers and celebrities, who need space for dressing up and resting during concerts or movie shooting. As for regular customers, there is little chance for mobile homes to become popular.
Roof boxes are another popular item in overseas markets as they increase luggage capacity and protect the luggage from rain, sunlight and dust.
Meanwhile in Thailand, the belief is that roof boxes affect the balance of the vehicle and lead to higher fuel consumption, apart from increased wind noise. Since the law concerning carrying objects on a vehicle in Thailand is not strict, the growth of roof boxes is not as good as sales of new vehicles in the country.
So I believe that automobiles that are successful in one market may not necessarily be as successful in another. Consumers in some markets just want an economical car, and accept the lower performance.
Many consumers in Thailand also believe that there is special equipment that can help the vehicle consume less fuel while producing more power. They believe advertisements without using common sense that less energy means less power.
Strange beliefs such as adding a small amount of benzene into the fuel tank of a diesel-powered vehicle to improve acceleration and lower black exhaust has been practiced in Thailand for a long time. Many also believe that removing the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) unit from the vehicle will result in more power, and they do this without caring that it is illegal.
I am not sure whether this kind of problem exists in other countries, but this is something that happens in Thailand on a daily basis. And even if people know that it is against the law, they still do it without fear of being arrested or punished.