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Toyota leads orders despite no new models

Despite the lack of new models at its booth, Toyota was able to register the highest number of orders at this year's Thailand International Motor Expo.

Published on December 12, 2007

Overall, 17,605 orders were placed at this year's show, 2.9 per cent higher than last year, reflecting more confidence from consumers, according to show organiser Kwanchai Paphatphong.

The 10-day expo ended on Monday night at Impact Muang Thong Thani.

"Car sales at the show are a good reflection of the Thai economic situation," Kwanchai said. "Consumers gave much attention to the new models introduced here, resulting in a 2.9-per-cent increase in the number of orders. Toyota, which doesn't even have a new model, received more than 5,000 orders."

The upcoming general election is also restoring consumer confidence, with monthly automobile sales rebounding in the last five months.

Every year, the expo serves as a boost to auto sales, since automobile companies launch new models and offer attractive sales promotions in order to achieve respectable year-end figures.

Apart from regular production models, a large number of exotic cars were shown this year, including a 1,000-horsepower Bugatti Veyron costing Bt165 million, as well as exhibits from Lamborghini, Mitsuoka, Lotus and MTM, which tunes up Audi cars.

Toyota, highlighting its current Fortuner, Camry, Vigo, Corolla, Yaris and Vios models, received 5,074 orders, representing 28.8 per cent of orders placed during the event.

Commercial-vehicle powerhouse Isuzu, with its Gold Series line-up, was the second most popular brand with 2,552 orders (14.5 per cent), followed by Honda, which launched its new Accord mid-sized passenger car, with 2,125 orders. Honda received more than 700 orders for the Accord, which has not even reached showrooms yet.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet received 1,889 orders (10.7 per cent) thanks to the popularity of its Aveo subcompact model, and Mitsubishi, highlighting its slightly changed Space Wagon MPV and a special version of the Triton pickup, was fifth with 1,220 orders (6.9 per cent). Malaysia's Proton, which made its debut this year, received 1,058 orders (6 per cent) thanks to its low-priced Savvy subcompact, followed by Nissan with 1,000 orders (5.7 per cent), Mazda with 765 orders (4.3 per cent), Ford with 477 orders (2.7 per cent) and Hyundai, returning after a

long absence from the Thai market, with 389 orders (2.2 per cent), coming mostly from its H-1 van.

Apichart Wangsatorntana-khun, general manager for operations of Phranakorn Auto Sales, Proton's sole distributor in Thailand, told Bernama that the compact Savvy was the hottest model, accounting for 50 per cent of sales while the Gen 2 and Satria Neo registered 28 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

Apichart said the company had only been expecting between 700 and 800 sales at Proton's debut.

"The response was very, very good. We did not expect such an excellent reception," said Apichart, who has 14 years experience in the industry, having served as a top executive in firms dealing with major brands like BMW, Honda and Chevrolet in Thailand.

A total of 434 used cars were also sold at the show, with Toyota leading the pack with 193 units (44.5 per cent) followed by BMW with 169 (38.9 per cent) and Chevrolet with 48 (11.1 per cent).

A large number of accessories were also sold, with global positioning systems attracting the most attention.

The Nation


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