Would you pay 8.4 million baht for a 2.7 million baht car?

In Thailand there are good value cars and bad value cars. Most of the good value ones are built in Thailand, and so benefit from lower tax rates than fully-built-up imported cars. For example, I would consider a Toyota Soluna Vios to be good value for money with prices starting at just under 500,000 baht. An imported Peugeot 206 with a smaller engine and less power costs 895,000 baht, and so would not really be considered good value. Are you with me?

Now lets look at the Corvette Z06. A car that costs approximately US$67,000 (around 2.7 million baht) in the States. Would you consider it good value... or even great value if it was going to cost you 8.4 million baht (over US$200,000)? Well at least one person does.

Thailand Champs at Fuel Economy

As fuel prices continue to rise and the government and media in Thailand continue to advise us on the "energy crisis", we are being bombarded with tips and suggestions on how to conserve fuel when driving. If you live in Thailand you will have seen suggestions that are far reaching in their relevance to the masses, such as: "only use your biggest car when you need to transport more than 2 people" and "try taking the roof rack off your car as it causes drag" or "wind up your windows when you're using the air conditioning unit."

Toyota Call for Lower Excise Tax on Big Hybrids

Toyota is calling for a cut in excise tax on hybrid cars with engines capacities of 3,000cc or greater. Toyota say that this would boost sales.

Although it is possible that sales would increase, it's also possible that Thai consumers will continue to buy the biggest car they can afford. Even if the tax on large Hybrid cars were to be cut, they would still be much more expensive than Thai built SUVs such as the massively popular, and massive Toyota Fortuner, due to the fact that hybrid vehicles have higher production costs. Owners of these thirsty machines probably didn't ask too many questions about fuel economy in the Toyota sales office.

Beat the traffic jams.... with a flying car!

Moller International. Ever heard of them?

"Take the most technologically advanced automobile, the Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Lamborgini, or the more affordable Acura, Accord, or the like. It seems like all of the manufacturers of these cars are touting the new and greatly improved "aerodynamics" of their cars.

Report on Autobacs Aisa Cross Country Rally

The Autobacs Aisa Cross Country Rally took place in Thailand between the 6th and 12th of August. There is a nice report (with pictures) of the event by Liz Price featured on The Star (Malaysian webiste, English language).

Second and Third place finishes went to Thailand (Toyota Hilux, and Isuzu D-Max). The winner of the event was Korean, driving a SsangYong Musso.

Luxury Equipment Promotes Kindness in S-class Drivers

In reviewing the Mercedes S-class, the Bangkok Post lists and describes a number of optional extras available for the car. The best of these has to be the DISTRONIC PLUS system. From the DaimlerChrysler website:

Gasohol 95

There seems to be a lot of confusion about gasohol at the moment and even though it's 1.50 baht a litre cheaper than regular petrol at the pumps, the demand for the fuel is relatively low.

If you have heard of gasohol, but are not sure what it's all about, then this article may help.

Tata and Thai Rung Union Car Plc Deal

No. Tata Young hasn't asked Thai Rung Union to modify an ISUZU truck for her. But, "I believe" Indian car maker Tata Motors has signed a deal with Thai Rung Union Car (site in Thai) to manufacture vehicles in Thailand.

The deal is good news for Thai Rung Union (TRU), Thailand's largest pickup truck modifier, who have been struggling of late in a very competitive market. Under the deal TRU and Tata will be manufacturing the 207 DI pickup truck in Thailand, for sale in the local market. Thailand is the second largest market for pickup trucks after the US. Under the deal it seems that TRU will have a hand in the redesign of the 207 DI to best fit the Thai market.

August Vehicle Sales Up 21% on Last Year

High fuel prices don't seem to be a problem for motorists in Thailand and vehicle sales are up according to a report from Toyota. You can get the full story on Business Day.

Fuel prices in Thailand have risen sharply over the last 6 months following a decision by the Thai government to move away from it's policy of subsidizing the cost of fuel. Toyota's report would indicate that the fuel prices have had some impact however, as passenger car sales have slumped seemingly giving way to the increase in sales of diesel powered one-ton pickup trucks. This increase is partly due to the cheaper running costs of diesel when compared to petrol engines, but can also be attributed to the launch of new models.

Sales Up Image

Drunk Driver Sentenced to Death

A Thai man has been sentenced to death for charges related to drink driving. This story made international news and you can read the full story on CNN.com, here (Link has expired and is no longer available). The 23-year-old man was responsible for the deaths of 4 people in a drunk-driving rampage in 2004.

Clean Air - For the Children!

Clean air The Bangkok Post has a piece on emissions control in Thailand. It describes Thailand as a developing nation that is employing standards that are "on par" with the developed world when it comes to emissions.

Thai Designer Wins Ford Deal

The Bangkok Post reports:
"Designer Anurak Thangsomboon has linked up with Ford to design a limited-edition T-shirt series to mark the launch of the new Ford Focus in Thailand.

"The deal represents the first time a local designer has worked with a global company on a joint marketing campaign.

The Damage a Car Can Do

The Malay Mail has this story of an accident in Pantai Dalam, Malaysia.

The Thai connection is that the driver of the car that smashed into seven parked cars was a Thai, believed to be drunk when he lost control of the car. He sustained the only injury: a broken leg.

Mitsubishi Triton Launched in Thailand

Today Mitsubishi launched the their new pickup, the Triton. This truck will replace the Strada, and on the surface it would appear that it will offer stiff opposition to Toyota and Isuzu the current market leaders in 1-ton pickup trucks in Thailand.

Road tax cheats and their blue registration plates!

Ever wondered why some Thai pickup trucks have blue lettering on their registration plates? Friday's Bangkok Post has an interesting article in their motoring section on the subject. The article concludes: "If you see a four-door pickup with blue license plates and there is no roof or extra seats - that vehicle is illegally registered and the owner is not worthy of being called a respectable citizen of the country."

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