Auto show uplifts the spirit of manufacturers
Cars on display at the 41st Bangkok International Motor Show at Impact Muang Thong Thani. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Automakers are hoping the Bangkok International Motor Show, which has been delayed for three months, will spark a buying mood among car enthusiasts after the industry was hit hard by the coronavirus in the first half of the year. the year.
The 12-day Motor Show, which was slated to open in late March, begins today amid strict hygiene measures, with major automakers placing their hopes on better sales over the next six months while expressing their concern at the economic uncertainty.
Automakers want the event to mark a new start for the recovery of the auto industry after the government’s months-long battle with the disease forced many businesses to temporarily shut down, triggered travel restrictions, an increase in traffic. unemployment and weakened the purchasing power of Thais.
“I think things should improve after the government eased the lockdown measures,” Pongsak Lertruedeewattanavong, vice president of MG Sales Thailand, said on Tuesday.
He expects good news later this year after “car sales in Thailand have fallen 30-40% since the start of this year.”
Ford Thailand chief executive Wichit Wongwatthanakan shared similar views. He expects domestic car sales to reach 600,000-650,000 units this year, up from 1 million units last year.
He and other automakers believe second-half sales will help improve the auto industry’s full-year business outlook, provided there is no second outbreak in the country.
“Toyota must carefully assess the situation every week,” said Surasak Suthongwan, vice president of Toyota Motor Thailand.
His company is concerned about rising infection rates in other countries.
Similar to Toyota’s rivals, he believes the auto show, which sees the launch of various car models and offers discounts and financial solutions to potential buyers, can help boost demand for cars.
“We have to watch the event until the end to see how many people are booking cars,” Surasak said.
Krisda Utamote, director of corporate communications at BMW Thailand, acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on household liquidity, but said he saw little impact on the luxury car segment, which buyers have high purchasing power.