Diesel Subsidy Cut

The subsidy for diesel fuel in Thailand is to be reduced by 0.30 baht a litre, effective from Friday (tomorrow at time of writing).

According to Energy Misister, Wannarat Channukul, the cut in the government subsidy will reduce the drain on the Oil Fund by around half a billion baht per month!

Following the cut in the subsidy rate, 4.70 baht per litre will be paid out to help keep the retail price of diesel below 30 baht a litre.

2010 Mazda3 is Two Years Late

Mazda Thailand has finally found the will to bring the "new" Mazda3 to the Thai market. Better late than never? The Mazda3 currently on sale in Thailand has been replaced in other markets for years and years already.

Mazda3 Image

Still, here we are, 2011, and the Mazda3 is finally starting to roll off Thai production lines, and will be in customer hands following its launch on the 17th March. Read more....

2012 Chevrolet Colorado to Debut at Bangkok Motor Show

With the 2011 Bangkok International Motor Show just weeks away, Chevrolet has released a teaser image of its forthcoming Colorado pickup truck. The truck will be previewed at the Bangkok show, but in preproduction form.

2012 Chevrolet Colorado Preview

The decision by GM to use the 32nd Bangkok International Motor Show to take the wraps off the new design is hardly surprising. One tonne pickup trucks are very popular in Thailand, and in 2010 over 40% of all vehicles sold in the kingdom were in this category.

Laughing Thai Policemen

No comment from me. Video follows:

Laughing Thai Police Image

2012 Honda Civic - North American Version

This is the 2012 Honda Civic! Well, the North American version at any rate. With the current Civic still looking so fresh next to the newer, but blander Toyota Corolla, it's a little surprising to see the new Civic already. But, despite this being a completely new car, inside and out, a quick glance might miss some of the detail. There are many changes though.

2012 Honda Civic Front Image

Remember the Thai version will be a little different, but this at least gives us some idea of what we can expect when the 2012 Civic arrives in Thailand.

2012 Chevrolet Aveo

Chevrolet Aveo RS Small Image

Chevy has done okay in Thailand so far. Chevrolet has some interesting models that offer something a little different when compared to the competition, and the prices have been right. For example, the Optra Estate is the only real option for those looking for a budget estate car, while the Captiva brings 7-seater practicality and diesel power to the SUV market.

Vehicles like these have allowed Chevrolet to keep the sales charts ticking over. On the other hand, Chevy's mainstream cars haven't really gained much traction. The Aveo did okay, but bland styling and lacklustre performance don't help its cause in what is a very important segment.

Why Are Thai Cars So Boring?

Thailand is an amazing country, full of verity and choice. Fruit, for many western countries, means that you will be looking at apples, oranges, bananas, and seasonal berries most of which are imported anyway. In contrast, Thailand offers a staggering array of locally grown fruits.

The country is blessed with natural beauty that attracts millions of tourists annually. And by and large Thailand is a very interesting place to visit, complete with a rich and proud history and culture. But.... this is a car site. And writing about Cars in Thailand isn't always all that interesting. In fact, truth be told, the Thai auto market is bland as can be.

Why is this the case? Do Thai's not have good Taste in cars?

Toyota Prius Production in Thailand starts November

Thailand is set to be the third country to produce the Prius hybrid. Starting next month, the Prius will join the Cmary Hybrid on Toyota's Gateway facility production line.

For hybrid vehicles to have any chance of success in Thailand pricing needs to be competitive. Toyota's decision to produce the Prius locally should help, and since the units built in Thailand will be for the domestic and local market, perhaps there is some room for Toyota to shave a few baht off the price when deciding the equipment levels that will be offered on the standard model.

All New Ford Ranger for 2012 and Mazda BT-50

New Ford Ranger

Ford has taken the wraps off its all-new 2012 Ranger at the Australian International Motor Show. The truck was developed at Ford's facility in Melbourne, Australia, and shares its platform with the all-new Mazda BT-50. Both models should be arriving in Thailand next year, and both will be built at the Ford/Mazda facility in Rayong, Thailand.

For this post I'm going to focus on the details for the Ford Ranger, and although the BT-50 will most likely have a few unique tricks, the majority of details are shared between the two sisters. Just to take a moment to comment on the obvious difference between the two, which is in the looks department. Ford's new Ranger is handsome looking and has stuck to a tried and tested truck look which clearly doesn't take any chances. With the BT-50, Mazda have clearly taken a few chances, and the result is something you will probably either love or hate it. I know I have no love for it at all!

Chevrolet Cruze Launched in Malaysia

Paul Tan has popped up a brief post stating some details about the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze in Malaysia. Thailand is still waiting for this car!

Malaysia is not getting much choice in engines, and the car is imported from Korea. Clearly this strategy wouldn't be a success in Thailand, since it would be impossible to compete with locally built alternatives.

Window Breaking Fail

Attempting to demonstrate how easy it is to break into a car, this reporter makes it look very difficult.

This is almost sad to watch. And if you faint at the sight of blood you might want to skip this one.

Thailand Loses Toyota Fortuner Production

Apparently, Thailand is to relinquish it's role as the production hub for the Toyota Fortuner to Indonesia. According to paultan.org, this will happen sometime in July or August this year.

There could be many reasons for this move, but it is most likely related to the recent shuttering of the Samrong Plant, where the Fortuner was produced alongside the Vigo.

Toyota to Suspend Production at Samrong Plant

Toyota is to suspend production at its Thai Auto Works (TAW) plant at the end of the month. The plant in Samrong has been cranking out 60,000 vehicles a year, specifically the Fortuner and Vigo models, the bulk of which were for the export market.

The decision to suspend production was taken late last year, in the midst of an effort by the company to make best use of its global manufacturing resources.

Chevrolet Cruze Introduces Simple Oil Filter Solution

Isn't it amazing how little the car has changed? And when you see something like this from Chevrolet, you'd wonder why something so simple hadn't been thought of before now.

The Chevrolet Cruze seems to be turning into something of a pleasant surprise. The strong performance on the Euro NCAP, the interesting design both inside and out, and the seeming good value for money. And then there are little things like this:

Chevrolet Cruze Oil Filter Image

The future of transmissions: D-Drive

Australian inventor, Steve Durnin, has developed a new transmission system that he believes will be ideal for use in cars. Capable of providing infinitely variable transmission, the D-Drive removes the need for a clutch.

The D-Drive is far from simple. But the video below should help.

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