During our visit to the 36th Bangkok International Motor Show, we had a chance to sit down for an hour-long Q&A with Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow, the founder of the biggest car show in Thailand, if not the whole ASEAN region.
Dr. Prachin began our session with a few sound bites about his motor show. He said this annual automotive festivity is not just about girls and cars--it’s also about the investment of foreign carmakers. He cited BMW as an example. By the time he mentioned that his life had been filled with pretty girls and beautiful cars, we knew he was our kind of guy.
So here are some fascinating facts we picked up from him. We hope our government is tuned in. We need political help if we have any chance of growing our car industry like Thailand did.
1. The Bangkok International Motor Show will be bigger next year, with an additional two halls, and 20,000sqm of trucks, classic cars, high-end accessories and race cars.
2. The premier Thai motor show organizer, Grand Prix International (GPI), also advises and helps put up other motor shows, like Indonesia and Cambodia’s respective car shows.
3. It is expected that the Thai automotive industry will produce three million cars in four years. As of now, production stands at 2.2 million.
4. Thai domestic sales now total one million vehicles per year. This means 1.2 million are exported to countries like the Philippines. For comparison, our automotive industry projects sales of a little over 300,000 units in 2015.
5. There is now one automobile for every six Thais.
6. For this motor show alone, GPI is expecting sales of 40,000 units.
7. Thailand will never produce a national car. It wants to remain neutral to all the foreign carmakers that have factories there.
Photo by Dinzo Tabamo