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Bangkok International Motor Show breaks an OICA wall

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 29 March 2019

The Thais, or more specifically Dr Prachin Eumlumnow, have managed to change one of the basic concepts of the Organisation Internationales des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA).

Selling cars.

The OICA which celebrates its centennial this year have finally conceded that motor shows must allow exhibitors to sell their products and not be purist displays of concept cars without sales.

“Now OICA allows cars to be sold at motorshows and we’re the first member to do so, and we’ve been asking for 20 years. Finally, we got approval this year,” Eumlumnow said during his press conference on the sidelines of the official opening of the show.

Founded in Paris in 1919, OICA or in English “International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers” has 39 members who represent automotive industry associations.

“When we first applied at OICA, it asked us to suspend sales of cars at the show.

“We reasoned with it that Thailand is an assembly hub and not a producer of cars, so it’s different from car producing countries.

“But now because of Thailand, there is no more one-tonne pick-up manufacturing in Japan. Since eight years ago,  Thailand is the leading exporter of light pick-up trucks (one-tonne pick-up trucks) in the world.

“When the twin-cab one-tonne pick-up truck entered the Euro market, it started to create a new market segment for family travel with a lot of space at the back for luggage.

“Every year, I go with the president of  Isuzu to Europe to survey the market. When Isuzu started penetrating the Euro market with its light pick-up truck (D’Max), it made VW wake up and do the Amaroc.

“VW attempted but couldn’t beat the made-in-Thailand double-cab quality and price. Four years ago, VW came to Thailand to R&D and make the parts for the Amaroc in Thailand. They bought land in Thailand for an assembly plant but everything was suspended because of  its Dieselgate affair. They can’t resume the project at the moment.

“Mercedes-Benz and BMW are working together with Nissan to share the Navara platform for a pick-up truck.

“This is the strong point of the Thai manufacturing industry for the past 50 years.

“We’re now moving forward into electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz will assemble the battery pack for its EV’s at Samut Prakarn starting this year. Energy Absolute is a Thai Public Listed Company which is making an MPV EV for a Bangkok taxi cooperative. The MINE SPA1 will enter service by June next year.”

The Bangkok  International Motor Show runs till 7 April at the Impact Muong Thong Thani.