40 years of the “Bangkok Motor Show” Automotive companies reveal total booking of 49 thousand units, grow by 15%
40 years of the “Bangkok Motor Show” Automotive companies reveal total booking of 49 thousand units, grow by 15%
OF MOTOR SHOWS
Words & Pictures by Chris Wee
Something as mundane and as simple as making a paper-plane can now turn you into the Don Origami Michelangelo of paper-plane making, not to mention whatever else that tickles your fancy. Get your honorary degree from the College of Wikipedia, become an expert in whatever from the University of YouTube, it’s all out there, for anyone and everyone to take advantage of. Coming from a time of fax machines and print film cameras, it’s safe to say that the leap in communication technology in the last few decades has been greater than anything that’s happened in the last century. Welcome to the Digital Era, things will never be the same again….
THE 40th BANGKOK INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 2019
The Internet. The World Wide Web. Google. Wikipedia. Etc, etc.,etc. Do you recall the very first time the great WWW encroached into your life? I do, it was back in my Asian Auto dot com days. We’d all decided out of sheer unbridled boredom, to see who could make the best paper-plane that would fly the furthest, and while we all got down to making our respective planes, someone at the back kept looking at his computer, whilst folding his A4 paper. Yup, he’d found a website online that gave detailed instructions on how to make a friggin’ paper plane.
- Do we really need them in this day and age?
But that’s the good part; the bad part comes in the form of the ‘unwanted’ news and information that car manufacturers would rather keep quiet about. And I’m not just referring to the odd super-secret future concept car making its way onto the WWW either, stuff like manufacturing defects, internal scandals, production issues, recalls, mismanagement, financial crises’ and just about every dirty-deed best swept under the proverbial carpet is now readily available for everyone to see, and worse, to share, openly. All it takes is one small leak in the good or bad information chain, and it is game over. There are no more secrets.
From a global automotive market standpoint, the advent of the WWW has seen a massive boom in terms of information dissemination, both wanted and unwanted, and at lightning speed. Where once consumers were subject to lengthy waits for any information on new and upcoming vehicles, seeing as how their main source of news was only via newspapers and magazines, these days launches are live-streamed to an eagerly awaiting and ravenous crowd the world over, as it happens. The waits are over. Case in point the 2019 Honda Accord that premiered at BIMS 2019 below. It’s a long way off from being launched in Malaysia, but it’s already out in the open.
This eventually leads to the topic of this article, Motor shows, and do we still need them. It’s no big secret that a vast majority of car manufacturers use the more prominent Motor shows like Geneva, Frankfurt, Japan and lately China, to showcase their latest vehicles and more often than not, to even globally premiere their latest offering. Over on this part of the globe, there are two very important annual Motor shows that seem to be the main target of car companies, GIIAS (Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show) in Indonesia, and BIMS (Bangkok International Motor show, video of the 2019 BIMS Opening Ceremony below) Thailand; the latter’s 2019 show being the focal point of all the images and videos of this article.
In the past, where information was scarce about new vehicles, Motor shows were the one-stop, everything under one-roof venue for everyone to see, feel, touch and in some cases like the Bangkok International Motor show for instance, even test-drive all the latest offerings from global carmakers. Everything under one roof, for everyone. It was a car enthusiast’s dream come true, but not just that, it was a place where anyone shopping for a new car could see all of their options, all at once, during the course of a weekend. The advent of the internet however, has enabled (almost) buyers to do the same, in an hour.
This of course then begs the question in regards to which is better. If you’ll permit me a somewhat decent analogy, take the movie “Up in the Air” for example. George Clooney is a professional ‘firer’, hired by organisations to ‘liquidate’ employees who are redundant (oh yes, it happens). He adds a personal touch to the whole experience of ‘meeting people on their worst day’ and sends them packing feeling not as bad as they should be. But along comes that chic from Twilight, who streamlines the whole process via Skype. George no longer needs to travel the country to physically ‘meet’ said people, and the process turns out to be a lot more, efficient, streamlined and less time consuming. It’s also cold, calculated and borderline inhumane. So let’s take a quick break to enjoy some Motor show eye-candy, back in a flash…
This is how I view the big difference between the Internet and Motor shows. Sure, the former allows a shit-tonne more to be accomplished with just a few taps of the keyboard and shuffles of the mouse, let’s face it, like I said before, with the mighty WWW there are no more secrets. Every car maker is online these days, their products on display for all to see in vivid colour, with every detail of each model and variant painstakingly reproduced. That said, like the aforementioned movie analogy, the process is cold and sterile to the point of being unforgivingly staid.
That can never be said for Motor shows. And this is why when it comes to answering the question in the title that preceded this article, the answer is a resounding YES. But the caveat is that it’s not really a ‘need’ anymore, it’s a ‘want’. During the course of any Motor show, visitors are privy to one aspect of vehicle monitoring that one can never find on the Internet; a ‘personal experience’. Not only are the vehicles at hand to see, feel and experience, there are also personnel from the numerous car companies displaying their wares at hand to interact with visitors to the show, ever ready to impart any knowledge or answer any questions one might have.
Hence why it is my fervent belief that the need, allure and appeal of Motor shows will not be diminishing anytime soon. Yes the world is getting smaller thanks to the unbelievable speed of online communication, but let’s not forget that cyberspace – like its namesake - is cold, heartless world void of any human interaction, feeling and personality. Sure, everything at a Motor show can be found online, but it will never replace the sheer awe-inspiring ‘tingly’ feeling one gets when those hall doors swing open. It’s a feeling that one should experience at least once in their lives.
– Chris Wee.
And solid proof of why Motor shows work both from an awareness and sales perspective, is just how many vehicles were SOLD at the 2019 Bangkok International Motor show.
FALL & RISE
As Jaturont Komolmis, Executive Committee / Chief Operating Officer of Grand Prix International Public Company Limited and the Vice Chairman of the 40th Bangkok International Motor Show revealed recently “The 40th Bangkok International Motor Show is another year that the event is successful in every perspective, including the total number of participating car and motorcycle companies as well as other automotive entrepreneurs, which is more than last year, leading to the excitement in the event. The total number of visitors this year is 1.6 million people, which is very close to the previous year.”
Jaturont added that "The booking of cars and motorcycles generated within the event this year, has a total amount of 49,278 units, which is divided into 37,769 cars, 5,343 motorcycle, while those brands of Electric Vehicle or EV gain 6,166 units.”
Those are actual numbers. Reproduced in full below is the official post-event Press Release of the 2019 Bangkok International Motor show, which was its 40th Edition!
The 40th Bangkok International Motor Show is highly successful as expected. The total number of this year visitors is 1.6 million people. Over 50 participated automotive companies are pleased with the booking number which surpasses the target, making the overall growth in Thai automotive industry this year continues to rise.
Mr. Jaturont Komolmis, Executive Committee / Chief Operating Officer of Grand Prix International Public Company Limited and the Vice Chairman of the 40th Bangkok International Motor Show reveals that “The 40th Bangkok International Motor Show is another year that the event is successful in every perspective, including the total number of participating car and motorcycle companies as well as other automotive entrepreneurs which is more than last year, leading to the excitement in the event. The total number of visitors this year is 1.6 million people, which is very close to the previous year.”
Mr. Jaturont added that "The booking of cars and motorcycles generated within the event this year, has a total amount of 49,278 units, which is divided into 37,769 cars, 5,343 motorcycle, while those brands of Electric Vehicle or EV gain 6,166 units.
The number of reservations from this event shows that Thailand's automotive industry is still strong in products, technology, and marketing. It can be seen from the overview of the event this year that every brand offers products that are packed with modern technology. For example, electric cars and hybrid cars, including using AI or artificial intelligence with cars, received attention from visitors and led to the number of reservations this year.
Mr. Jaturont added that “For decades, Bangkok International Motor Show continues gaining trust from automotive and motorcycle companies and entrepreneurs. This can be seen by the companies who participate with the display of automotive technologies and the display of latest innovations, as well as the large amount of money the brands have invested into the creation of magnificent booths and shows.”
On behalf of the steering organizer, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the participants for all the support that has made the “Bangkok International Motor Show” successful. This has literally reaffirmed that this is the best car show in Thailand and is No. 1 in ASEAN, with the equivalent standard to a world class Motor Show.
Virtual Reality or just Reality?
For this year, the booking summary report of the participating car companies indicated that SUV is the most popular segment. It has an average booking of about 30 percent while the rest are passenger cars and pick-up trucks, especially the double-cab pickups that each company has brought a special model car or limited edition to be an alternative to consumers who want a car specially decorated from the factory. The luxury car market is also a segment that has attracted the attention of the visitors. The booking number is as high as 5,055 units.
A factor that make consumers decided to book a car at the event is because there are more products being launched and available at the show. Moreover, the relaxation of the purchase loan regulations, marketing promotions and the post-election period have motivated consumers to have confidence in the economy and confidence to spend more.”
According to the total number of reservations, Toyota has got the highest reservation number of 6,110 units. Mazda came second this year with the booking number of 5,211 units. Honda closed its sale as the third highest reservation number of 4,910 units. The fourth place is Mitsubishi with booking number of 3,019 units, while Isuzu ranked fifth at 2,715 units. For motorcycle, Honda has got the highest reservation number totaling 1,274 units. Yamaha came second with total reservation at 723 units, and third place is Kawasaki with 539 units booked. Looking at pure EV brands, MINE Mobility has gained total booking of 4,500 units, while FOMM achieved 1,666 units in total.