This is the first time I get to write about the new Chevrolet plug-in hybrid, as there is finally a Thai connection to the story.
According to the source, GM could bring the Chevrolet Volt to Thailand as early as 2011. The decision to bring the new car to Thailand is not all that surprising, and could eventually pave the way for local assembly in Thailand.
What is this Volt thing?
Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, it's unlikely that you haven't already heard about the Chevrolet Volt. If you simply google the word "volt" you'll get some indication about how important the Volt has become.
Automotive giant, GM, is set to invest up to $445 million in Thailand to update it's current plant, to produce the next generation Colorado pick-up truck, and a brand new facility to manufacture a new range of diesel engines locally.
The engines will be for use in the new Colorado, and will also be exported. The plant is due to begin production in 2010, and with 340 workers is said will have an annual manufacturing capacity of over 100,000 units a year.
Chevrolet Thailand gave us a look at their Colorado CNG at the Bangkok International Motor Show that ended on Sunday. Chevrolet already has a factory equipped CNG version of the Optra sedan and estate on the market, and this CNG version of Chevrolet's one-ton pick-up has been on the cards for a few years now.
Read on for more information and pictures from the show...
General Motors (GM) Thailand Ltd has announced biodiesel compatibility for all Chevrolet diesel vehicles in Thailand. In effect this means that the diesel version of the Captiva and the Colorado pick-up truck are both capable of using B2 and B5 biodiesel without any problems.
According to a press release from GM Thailand, using the B2 and B5 fuels will not cause any harmful or damaging effects to the engines, and that the engines "will retain both the powerful performance and cost efficiency that owners have come to expect from Chevy diesel powerplants."
If you read my recent post about Chevrolet servicing pricing being all over the place, with a difference of THB 7,000 quoted between two dealers within 5 km of each other, you might be interested in this follow-up.
Chevrolet owners in Bangkok: Shop around for your servicing!! Today we took our Chevrolet Optra to the Chevrolet Dealership on Ram Intra road, the one next to Foodland. The car was up for its 60,000 km service and since the Optra needs a new timing belt at this interval the quote for the service was approximately THB 10,000. This didn't surprise me, although it is an insane amount of money for servicing on a car of this class, because the dealer had given me a heads up at 50,000 km that it would be around THB 10,000 at 60k.
Although the money didn't put me off, the time did. They needed all day with the car, and I wasn't prepared to be without it that long, so we decided to check out some other Chevrolet Service Centres. First my wife called the dealer on Nawamin Rd. They quoted approximately THB 8,000 for the service. Surprised at the THB 2,000 difference we checked out one other Service Center, the one on Ladprao Soi 101. This time, I was even more surprised at the figure quoted: THB 15,000!!
Chevrolet Thailand are going to use the Thailand Motor Expo at the end of the month to launch the 2008 Colorado. Details are slim, but here is what we know, or can safely assume.
This will be a minor facelift, with updated styling, and some additional equipment options. According to Chevrolet, the 2008 Colorado will be available in a total of 28 variations, to offer more more choice. These variations will be based on the S-Cab, X-Cab and C-Cab models.
Engines are not going to change. I don't have pictures yet, but there will be a new front bumper, grille, and headlights, and updated taillights. Gone are the distinctive two level headlights, separated by a strong horizontal bar as is the case in the current model, replaced by rather ordinary looking lamps. But a truck is a truck, and they are never going to win any beauty contests.
The Colorado has been on sale in Thailand for 4 years, and has been doing okay for GM's low-cost brand. Chevrolet will be hoping that the facelift and additional choice of configurations will give a strong end to a year that has been very poor for the Thai market in general. We'll post up pictures when they are available.
This is the new face of the Optra saloon, and the estate has received similar treatment as part of the car's second and final update before a all-new model is launched. The facelift is much more striking than the previous effort, which is mostly down to the fact that the headlamps are completely revised and the new two section grille separated by a thick horizontal beam bearing the Chevrolet badge.