• Lamborghini Urus
  • Dressed up Suzukis
  • Pioneer car audio
  • Subaru Forester
  • McLaren 600 LT
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Aston Martin Vantage
  • MG E-Motion
  • Mercedes-Benz EQA
  • Mazda Vision Coupe
  • Mini John Cooper Works GP

Billions of reasons to check out expo action

Auto & Audio December 01, 2018 08:06

By Kingsley Wijayasinha
The Nation Weekend

7,001 Viewed

With auto lovers tipped to fork out Bt55 bn in orders, there is plenty on show to help loosen those purse strings

This year’s Motor Expo features a good collection of concept vehicles and new models as well as many other attractions that could attract more than 1.5 million visitors.

The expo, which marks the year-end auto-buying season, is being held at the Challenger Hall, Impact Muangthong Thani, until December 10.

Organisers say that as much as Bt55 billion could be generated from auto sales and other spending, including booth set-up. Motor Expo founder Kwanchai Paphatphong said that this year, 45,000 orders are expected to be placed for automobiles, plus another 8,000 for big bikes.

Five auto makers are showing off hi-tech concept vehicles at the Motor Expo. They include Mercedes- Benz (EQA), Mazda (Vision Coupe), MG 

(E-Motion), Mini (John Cooper Works GP) and Porsche (Mission E).

More than 20 new and minor-change models are being displayed at the show, with auto companies eyeing to win a large number of customers before wrapping up their 2018 sales performance.

Auto sales are expected to pass the 1-million-unit mark this year, and many companies have been upping their sales targets as well as market projections during the second half of the year.

In terms of products, there’s a lot to see. While Audi is presenting its new A6 Avant, BMW’s highlight is on the new 8 Series while Mercedes-AMG took the opportunity to launch the CLS 53 4MATIC+.

The fight is already on in the Japanese executive car class between the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. While the Camry has already been officially launched for sale with pretty attractive packaging and pricing, the Accord is just being unveiled here to create customer awareness before its official launch early next year.

Nissan is the first major auto maker to officially launch an EV (electric vehicle). The much-anticipated Leaf is priced at Bt1.99 million, and it will be interesting how this futuristic model will perform in the Thai market as EV charging infrastructure is quickly growing.

Hyundai is also quick in the EV market, displaying the Kona Electric at its main stage. Local EV manufacturers like FOMM are also present, but the small size of the vehicles being offered limits them to slower driving in closed areas.

While super luxury brand Rolls-Royce is showing off its first SUV – the Cullinan, Italian supercar maker Lamborghini has also taken the same approach, pulling the wraps off the monstrous Urus (I call it Darth Vader’s SUV). Aston Martin is showing the new Vantage, McLaren is present with the 600 LT, and Porsche has introduced the new Macan that’s expect to sell very well in the luxury crossover market.

Visitors also get a chance to shop for car audio equipment with the large number of promotions being offered, along with other accessories for both cars and motorcycles.

I spent some time checking out the imitation leather jackets that come with a starting price of Bt1,000 (real ones would set you back Bt20,000), and bikers will love the large collection of apparel as well as helmets with very low prices.

There are various areas outside of Challenger Hall used for driving activities, including test drives as well as autonomous driving, safety driving and off-roading. The best time to visit the show is late morning on weekdays, when crowds are sparse and parking is easy.