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?
A while back I did a speculative piece and suggested that the Nissan Eco Car could be on the market as soon as October 2009. Well, it's now almost 2010, so I guess you win some, but not the rest.
But this morning Nissan Thailand sent me a very nice little card in the mail, and I'm sure they won't mind me sharing it with you all here. It seems that while I was wrong about the timing of the Eco Car launch, I was probably right about the actual car Nissan would use. Read on...
Nissan didn't wait for the Bangkok Motor Show to launch the all new Nissan Teana, it has been in Nissan showrooms across the country days ahead of the show. Although I haven't had a chance to drive the Teana yet, here are my first impression from sitting in the car and playing around with everything.
The replacement Nissan Teana is due very soon and more details are starting to appear. Some of these merely confirm earlier speculation (read previous article on 2009 Nissan Teana here.), but there are some interesting details that give us a clear indication that Nissan is attempting to raise the bar in the segment.
When Nissan introduced the Teana, it was a major departure from the styling of the car it replaced, the Cefiro. But more than simply redefine the face of the Japanese automakers flagship sedan, it also marked the start of a brand-wide style change.
Nissan could be the first automaker to introduce its Thai eco car. According to the Bangkok Post, Nissan could have its car to market as soon as October 2009.
It still isn't clear which car Nissan will use for the project, but the March seems likely candidate. The March, also known as the Micra, is currently a Japanese/European car, but the 2010 March (due out near the end of 2009), is to be more of a global model, and this would make it ideal for the eco car project.
Sales at this years Thai Motor Expo were actually pretty reasonable considering the current political and economic difficulties that Thailand is facing. Approximately 14,000 cars were ordered at the Expo which was attended by around 1.5 million visitors.
There are no surprises at the top of the sales table, with Toyota and Honda leading the pack with 4,193 and 2,552 bookings respectively. Business as usual really! Third place went to Isuzu with 1,760, which might seem like a big gap until you remember that they only sell trucks and truck derived SUVs.
The Nissan Teana is due to be updated for 2009 and we recently posted a brief article about it. Now, the 2009 Nissan Teana has been spotted and photographed in Thailand.
With 2008 drawing to an end, it's time to start having a look at what we can expect in 2009. The Thai car scene was quite tame in 2008, with only a few all-new models finding their way into showrooms. The most exciting of these being the Honda City! Enough said.
But looking forward to 2009, let's start with a look at the 2009 Nissan Teana!
Finally, Nissan has joined the 4x2 that looks just like a 4x4 pickup gang. The Nissan Navara Calibre goes head on with the Toyota Vigo Prerunner, Mitsubishi Triton Plus, Isuzu Hi-Lander, and all the other 4x2 in the guise of a 4x4 offerings out there.
The concept is simple. You take the 4x4 truck and you remove 4x4, put in the lower spec engine and offer it only with a manual transmission. Then you market it by making it look like you did things the other way around, showing that you raised the 4x2 truck, stuck on bigger wheels, widened the arches, and added other value.
The Calibre comes in King Cab and Double Cab variants, costing THB 639,000 and THB 715,000 respectively. They both come with the 2.5 litre 144 PS version. The 4x4 has the more powerful 174 PS engine.
Either there is an error in the article below, or Eco-Cars are going to be expensive. Taken from the Bangkok Post, the article below is mostly stuff you will have already heard about the Eco-Car project.
But it seems that this article does answer a question that many are interested to know: What will Eco-Cars cost? Or perhaps the best way to put it is: How cheap will Eco-Cars be?
As you scan down through the article you eventually meet this statement:
Thailand's small eco-cars will be selling in the range of $16,000 and up.
The 2009 Nissan Teana will be officially unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show in a few weeks time. However, as is usually the case, and thanks to the internet, nothing is sacred anymore, and dealer sales manual images have been leaked out of Japan. Although the quality of these images isn't the best, it gives us a pretty clear impression of the 2008 Nissan Teana.
Read on for more images.