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Bookings 34% up at Motor Expo

The number of vehicle bookings during the first five days of Thailand International Motor Expo 2007 skyrocketed by 34 per cent compared with last year, indicating demand for cars is still brisk despite high oil prices.

Published on December 4, 2007

The reservations were for 4,884 vehicles, up from 3,648 last year. The number of visitors also increased 5 per cent to more than 480,000.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of vehicles booked during the first five days," said Kwanchai Paphatphong, president of Inter-Media Consultant, the expo's organiser.

Leading the way is Toyota, which posted the largest sales of 1,262 vehicles, followed by Chevrolet (775), Isuzu (706), Honda (685), Mitsubishi (286) and Nissan (277).

Remarkably, Proton, the Malaysian auto-maker that recently appointed a dealer in Thailand, enjoyed sales of 250 cars, which exceeded the sales of 220, 113 and 61 vehicles by Mazda, Ford and Suzuki, respectively. Proton's cheapest model sells for Bt399,000. The company is making its first appearance at the show.

Kwanchai said overall car sales in Thailand had plunged by 5 per cent in the first 10 months of the year compared to the same period of 2006. Driven by the growth of sales during the expo, the market should recover this month to reach the same level as last year.

"Consumers have held back their buying decision from the beginning of this year and waited for better signs of economic recovery and a more stable political situation," he said.

He added that the continuous increase in oil prices had only a slight psychological effect on the buying decisions of consumers, particularly those in the upper segment.

However, economically priced vehicles such as Protons have received a great welcome from visitors to the fair, which started at Impact Muang Thong Thani last Wednesday and runs until next Monday.

The launch of cheap products has included many car accessories.

Techno-Sell (Frey), official distributor of US-based CP Films, the world's largest manufacturer of Lamina and LLumar films, yesterday launched four different types of window film under its new "affordable" Pop Series, aimed at younger customers.

Managing director Channapa Saisamorn said drivers concentrated on two main factors in buying window-film products: innovation and value for money.

"The prices of Pop Series products will be 10 per cent cheaper than Lamina. The new products will suit

new-generation customers, who are looking for good-quality window films at more affordable prices," said Channapa.

Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn

The Nation


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