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Bangkok International Motorshow 2012: More then cars and girls in Thailand.

Report by Laszlo Gog: The 33rd edition of the "Bangkok International Motor Show" (BIMS) - the biggest auto show event in the Asian region - was held for the second consecutive year at Challenger Hall, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. This year’s event’s concept is "Technology Difference" as the show offers multiple selections of innovations from leading automotive brands.

Last year’s event was an overwhelming success in the history of the Show. It’s all about figures and the motor show organizers hoped to equal or surpass the 1.9 million-visitor count and 45,000 new car bookings recorded last year. 2012 is set to be a great year for the automotive industry in Thailand, which is trying to recover its footing having been badly effected by the tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand.

Today, when the normal production resumes, the market looks as bright as it could be. Notably, before the supply-chain disruptions, car companies amassed orders for nearly 100,000 pickups. More orders were expected at the motor show, as pickups - evidently with the ability to withstand floods - are expected to further enjoy high demand and remain Thailand’s product champion.

As the only international motor show held annually that is inscribed with OICA every alternate year, the BIMS is known as one of the most representative of the industry in the region.The top manufacturers always unveil major innovations at the Show. The Show provided a great-value, day-out for all the family, also. Apart from checking out the latest production models and sales promotions, visitors to the Bangkok International Motor Show got a glimpse of the future of automobiles through the large number of concept vehicles being displayed.

Another special feature for visitors was the testing drive station, probably the biggest in the world with 33,000 square-meters. More than 1000 test drives were taken during the event by enthusiastic show visitors.

In total, there were 178 exhibitors at the event, and the stunning figures of 1.9 million attendants, which puts Bangkok firmly in the big league, with Geneva targeting around 700,000, Detroit claiming 770,000 for its show in January. At the end there was a record 57,058 booking sales!

Most orders, as usually, were placed for Toyota models, 12,694 pieces, Honda is the second with 7,559 units, the fictitious third place went to Mitsubishi with 6,406 bookings. On the highest end, Mercedes sold 1,271 cars, plus 52 units modified by Carlsson. 12 Jaguars, 10 Porsches, 4 Lamborghinis and one Bentley were sold, also.

The only world premiere – held at a special event ahead of the 33rd BIMS – was the debut of the All-New Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV, first previewed in concept form at last year’s Dubai International Motor Show. Based on General Motors’ new global body-on-frame midsize truck architecture, the Trailblazer was designed to feature premium ride comfort and handling dynamics for urban and highway driving, matched by superior off-road capabilities.

With the support of an independent five-link rear suspension, the Trailblazer displays none of the typical characteristics of conventional body-on-frame SUVs. The use of coil springs throughout also provides the Trailblazer with better suspension articulation, a useful trait in off-road conditions, in addition to providing passenger car-like handling dynamics on the road.

Inside, the seven-passenger Trailblazer features leading interior space and intuitive three-row tumble and fold-flat seat versatility. With a flowing instrument panel, integrated center stack and signature Chevrolet dual cockpit design, the interior combines car-like characteristics with the boldness expected of a true SUV.

Available in two- and four-wheel-drive configurations, the Trailblazer is powered by GM’s new four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel engines featuring 2.5L and 2.8L displacements. A choice of two drivetrains will be offered – a five-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic featuring electronic shift-control with clutch-to-clutch capability and an electro-hydraulic control module.

The range-topping 2.8L variant features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and, and a balancer-shaft for greater smoothness. Both engines feature components designed to last for 240,000 kilometers, enhancing durability and reliability while contributing to lower cost of ownership.

The 2.8-liter engine is rated at 180 horsepower (132kW) and 470Nm of torque with an available six-speed automatic transmission (440Nm with a five-speed manual). The 2.5-liter engine is rated at 150 horsepower (110kW) and 350Nm of torque.

The Trailblazer was developed in tandem with the all-new Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck by a highly skilled team of GM engineers, who used their expertise to add passenger vehicle attributes to the midsize truck architecture. Team members lived in Thailand during the development of both vehicles, immersing themselves in the highly competitive truck and SUV market and observing how Thais use their vehicles and the driving conditions they experience.

The insights gathered led to the development of Trailblazer models covering two specification levels: the mid-level LT and the range-topping LTZ. The new Chevrolet SUV will be built at GM Thailand’s manufacturing facility in Rayong and will go on sale around the world, beginning with Thailand in June.

Ford uses the Bangkok Motor Show for the ASEAN preview of the Australian-built Ford Territory premium SUV to gauge customer interest and the feasibility of a local market introduction. The new Ford Territory is a seven-seat crossover, equipped with a 2.7L TDCi V6 turbo-diesel engine with six-speed automatic transmission.

The most spectacular 4x4 vehicle of this year's Bangkok International Motor show was displayed at Isuzu booth. As it is accustomed, the Isuzu stand was the most spectacular and it focused on the new D-Max pickup. Even the base model showed an extraordinary sight with blue-black matte finish, and was fitted with Falken P305 45 R22 tires. The top off-road model was carefully lifted to fit under the 37-inch Maxxiss Trepador tires mounted on 16-inch wheels.

Toyota this year celebrates 50 years of its presence in Thailand, and on this occasion offered a special edition of each models.

Mazda launched the PRO edition of its all-new BT-50 pickup with the most powerful engine in the market. The most complete and integrated pickup truck of the present day is available in two body styles and engine variants – Freestyle cab and Double Cab, 200hp/470Nm 3.2-litre Di-THUNDER PRO and 150hp/375Nm 2.2-litre Di-THUNDER PRO engines.

At the accessories area thousands of products were on offer from over 300 leading manufactures and retailers. With over 650 new models on display, it was the best place to compare and buy all you need for your driving and adventures ahead.

Organizers are always looking to reinstate the sort of activities that give the event such a „festival” atmosphere. During the exhibition visitors were pampered by a variety of other exciting events such as music corner, automotive auction, photo competition, a variety of automotive-themed talk shows, and it was certainly worthwhile to follow the selection of Miss Motor Show. There were also some stunning 4x4 activities that showcased the 4x4 Show’s diverse terrain, and provided a great challenge for competitors.

2012/06/04 | 15:38 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/GOG

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