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30th Bangkok International Motor Show: A greener space.

The anniversary 30th Bangkok International Motor Show followed the theme which apparently is the lavour of the decade, saving the environment.

Nowadays vehicles are an essential part of our daily life, and some are like the second home to many people. From day to night many people use their vehicle as working place, dining room, changing room, bedroom, etc. However, the major role of a vehicle is to take us to our destination in safety. And we need fuel to power the engine. Hence, the innovation of vehicle development should concern not only new technology but also energy saving and environment. This is why the theme of this years anniversary Bangkok International Motor Show was Green Life on Wheel.

Thailand seems to be little affected by the global economic turmoil. This annual event featured the latest concept and production cars and motorcycles. There were also a large number of accompanying activities ranging from rallies to off road competitions, tuning car contests to car audio shows and a wide variety of cars on show from local clubs. This year 130 companies from 11 countries exhibited their products on the 78.300sqm exhibition area. Last year the show attracted 1.5 million visitors, for this year the organizers estimated this number 1.6 to 1.7 million. To achieve this target more than 1.2 million complementary tickets were allocated to the exhibitors, according to the size of their space, for example Toyota received about 90.000 tickets. During the past 29 events Bangkok Motor Show had altogether 36.857.553 visitors.

Last year 15.000 orders were placed during the show and for this year the organizers expected a 10% increase. As much as Bt20 billion (563 million USD) were expected to change hands thanks to the show, and most of this amount would come from auto sales rather than accessories, which should fetch approximately Bt2-3 billion.

Bangkok International Motor Show is the top automobile exhibition event in the region that gives an inkling of whether the Thai automobile industry would be able to withstand the bad times. „This is a special year for the Motor Show because it marks the 30th anniversary and we are putting in extra effort to make it a memorable event“ said Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow, the chairman of the organizing committee. In addition the show period was extended from 10 to 12 public days, which means together with Press Day and VIP Day it lasted for 14 days. The organizers spared nothing in making it the biggest event ever, more than Bt200 million (5.6 million USD) were used to stage attractions like the 30-minutes fireworks show held in the evening of the opening day.

1.3 million motor vehicles were produced in Thailand last year, 80% of which were exported. Automobile producers hired as much as 750.000 workers in the country. Thailand is now a global production center for pickup trucks, with more than 1 million units being produced annually. It's understood that Australian ARB has also shifted the manufacturing of 4x4 equipment for light truck pick-ups to Rayong, Thailand 4 years ago.

The most expensive and definitely most photographed 4x4 car of the show was “Captiva Bling Bling”, decorated with colorful genuine Swarovski crystals all over the vehicle’s exterior and interior. Skilled craftsmen applied over 150,000 Swaroski crystals spending over 300 working hours decorating almost every outer chrom part with diamond-like „Crystal“ colour, whilst adding some glamorous accent on the gold Chevrolet logo with „Light Colorado Topaz“. The complete customisation including crystals on the custom wheels carried a pricetag of 1 million Baht.

The another highlight of Chevrolet boot was the debut of Captiva LTZ, which comes with a full list of standard options including a seven-inch touch-screen on the console with navigator system incorporating air conditioning and audio controls, luxury beige colored leather, 18-inch alloy wheels with Dunlop sports tires and a chrome front grill. The Captiva LTZ features a two-litre four-cylinder diesel engine which produces 150hp, and is mated to a sophisticated AWD system.

Additionally, Chevrolet Colorado, the ‚American style’ pick-up truck featuring strength, durability, beauty and luxury in a tough and rugged package was another highlight of the event. Colorado comes with a choice of an first of all, 2,500cc powerplant delivering 116hp at 280 Nm of torque. Chevrolet Colorado 3,000cc engine answers the needs of travelling fans. The new 4 cylinder DCHC 16-valve engine, commonrail fuel injection system and Turbo Inter Cooler air injection system 146hp with maximum torque at 294 Nm, provides continuous acceleration rate for long direct path and excellent strength. Colorado is also available in the CNG version.

Isuzu introduced the new Platinum lineup marked by several dazzling models to confirm that Isuzu offers "Ultimate Value beyond all levels". The special edition models of "Isuzu D-Max Spacecab Platinum Speed" highlight speed and performance that stand out above the rest, with the special edition model "Isuzu MU-7 Platinum TOURING EDITION" sport utility offering a brand new motoring experience filled with the best of amenities and comfort. For offroaders Isuzu D-Max Rodeo LS Platinum with 3000 Ddi VGS Turbo engine completes what's missing from an exciting lively lifestyle with an off-road accessory kit. Robust and tough with special front and rear bumper accessories, side mould protectors by ARB, electric-operated winch by Warn, PIAA spotlights, 16-inch wheels and Maxxis M/T tires 265/75R16. The rally vehicle that won 1st place in the diesel pickup category of the 2009 Dakar Rally, the world's most challenging and toughest rally competition was also on display.

Mitsubishi Motors launched seven new models of Mitsubishi Triton 2WD to complete its line up, introduced Special model of Pajero Sport and showcased Pajero Sport Evolution, the new race car with Thai driver Mana Porsiriched who managed to finish the 2009 Dakar. The new Pajero Sport built in Thailand and phased only in Russia and in the ASEAN region was unveiled first at last year’s Moscow International Auto Salon. Now the new special model of Pajero Sport “White Pearl” comes with a navigation system and bluetooth to meet customer needs.

All three nameplates of Ford 4x4 vehicles were showcased at the Bangkok International Motor Show 2009. The new Ford Ranger comes with a fresh contemporary look, and is available in Standard Cab, Open Cab and Double Cab body style configurations in both 4x2 and 4x4. Its Duratorq commonrail diesel engine offers impressive torque, take-off and response, as well as best in class torque at low revs and superior fuel efficiency. The 3.0L Duratorq engine delivers maximum torque of 380Nm at1,800rpm while the 2.5-litre engine delivers up to 330Nm at 1,800 rpm. The Ranger range continues to offer customers exciting choices with the versatile Ranger Hi-Rider and Ranger Wildtrak.

The latest Ford Escape wanted to impress visitors to the Bangkok International Motor Show with its contemporary look combined with the real SUV feeling. The Duratec VVT 2.3L is both powerful and fuel efficient.

Ford Everest, Ford’s popular 7-seat family SUV joined the full line Ford showcase at the event. The family SUV comes with the 5-speed automatic transmission developed by Borg Warner which is only available in luxurious SUVs like the Ford Explorer and is very responsive at all speeds. Its performance is enhanced by the powerful 2.5-litre Duratorq commonrail diesel engine. Superior safety features, including the four airbags, and comfort features also give all passengers in the Ford Everest great peace of mind.

The only 4x4 concept was presented by Toyota. The hybrid prototype A-Bat, first unveiled in Detroit 2008, showed the future pick-up concept. The power for the A-BAT comes from Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive mated to a four-cylinder engine.

Mercedes launched the new ML 280 CDI Sports in Thailand. The new generation of this vehicle featured even more distinctive characteristics and the styling modifications gave the revamped M-Class an even sportier look. ML 280 CDI Sports NG powered by V6 engine of 2,987 cc, output at 190hp, has permanent all-wheel drive and all make use of a 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission – now fitted with proper gearshift paddles which are much easier to use than the previous behind-the-wheel buttons.

Tata Motors introduced Thailand’s first single cab pickup truck with original high suspension, the Xenon Single Cab. The new Xenon Single Cab comes with a giant flat loading area that can be opened from three sides. This Xenon variant comes with the fuel-saving, 2.2-litre VTT DICOR diesel engine delivering maximum power of 140hp and maximum torque of 320 Nm. It will be available from June 2009.

The 30th Bangkok International Motor Show was an extremely colorful event, however this year we missed very much the offroad competition which attracted many visitors during the past editions. The offroad area was transformed into a large construction site because by next year the visitors of the 31th Bangkok International Motor Show will be able to access the BITEC exhibition area by a new direct line of the Bangkok skytrain system.

2009/04/18 | 12:43 CET | Editor: MR/Laszlo Gog/Rita Konya

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