April 04, 2014 00:00 By Kingsley Wijayasinha
Organisers say over 18,300 orders placed in first 10 days, expect accelerated sales this weekend
Organisers of the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) expect as many as 40,000 orders to be placed at this year’s event.
During the first 10 days, as much as 18,331 orders were placed, according to organising committee vice chairman Jaturont Komolmis.
However, Jaturont pointed out that there has been a shift in the popularity of vehicle types.
“Last year most of the sales involved eco-cars, but this year larger cars priced at Bt800,000 and above are becoming more popular,” he revealed.
Jaturont said most of the eco-car purchases were under the First Car Buyer Scheme and the cut-throat sales campaigns offered last year. A large number of new models are also helping to rev sales, which dropped by more than 40 per cent in the first two months of the year.
Mazda is enjoying tremendous response for the new Mazda3, which is considered the highlight of the show this year. During the first nine days, Mazda received 1,932 orders and is the fourth best-selling brand at the show. The top seller is presently Toyota, with 4,402 orders thanks to the high popularity of its new Corolla Altis, followed by Honda, with the latest City and minor-change Civic, with 2,661 orders. Commercial vehicle giant Isuzu is third with 2,488 orders. Other top sellers at the show are Mitsubishi (1,795), Nissan (1,599), Ford (1,311), Chevrolet (950), Suzuki (518), Hyundai (294), Subaru (90), GEM Car (77), Lexus (56), Volkswagen (54), Ssangyong (24), Land Rover (24), Carlsson (20), Jeep (13), Porsche (7), Jaguar (6), WIZ Auto (4), Bentley (3) and Hartge (3).
Jaturont said that if the eco-car segment is not included, car sales at the show have grown by 4-5 per cent. As a result, organisers have upped their sales forecast from 37,000 vehicles to 40,000.
“Although the country is facing a number of problems including the political upheaval and the slowing economy, large crowds are turning up at the show and 16,517 orders have already been placed in the first nine days,” he said.
The figure does not include sales by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini and Volvo, which will be released on the final day, while super luxury brands such as Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin do not report sales figures.
“We expect that by the end of the show on April 6, more than 40,000 orders would have been placed since the last three days usually witness higher sales than the first half,” he said, adding that last year, 10,000 orders were placed daily during the final weekend of the show.
According to Jaturont, consumers have been holding back their auto purchases during the first three months of the year. “Auto sales have fallen sharply, and there are problems with the political situation and the economy. This has caused many consumers to postpone purchases. But the motor show is now stimulating people’s purchasing mood since there is a large number of new models as well as attractive sales promotions.”
Jaturont said that luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which launched new C-Class models, are enjoying brisk sales. “Even brands like Rolls-Royce [which sell cars priced at Bt29 million to Bt40 million] and Aston Martin [Bt12 million to Bt22 million million] have received many orders,” he explained.