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Rolls-Royce sees sunny days in China market

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

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Rolls-Royce sees sunny days in China market

Auto & Audio April 17, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

2,081 Viewed

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars set a remarkable business record in 2018 to achieve its greatest sales result in the brand’s 115-year history, with 4,107 cars delivered to customers in over 50 countries worldwide.

The Greater China market played a significant role in the marque’s 2018 success story as it became Rolls-Royce’s second-largest market. The company anticipates that China will, at some point in the not-too-distant future, become Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ largest single market.

“I am very pleased with our performance in Greater China. At Rolls-Royce our patrons are our life blood,” said Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “They are our heroes and friends. We are wholeheartedly committed to meeting their diverse needs and desires. For our Chinese customers, being in the Rolls-Royce family is a special experience, like no other. And they are deeply appreciative of our meticulous attention to the most modest details, and we welcome their custom.”

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Global car makers face bumpy road as China hosts auto show

Published April 16, 2019 by SoClaimon

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 21, 2011, an electric car prototype of Chinese car manufacturer Geely is displayed at the Shanghai Auto Show in Shanghai./AFP
(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 21, 2011, an electric car prototype of Chinese car manufacturer Geely is displayed at the Shanghai Auto Show in Shanghai./AFP

Global car makers face bumpy road as China hosts auto show

business April 14, 2019 16:16

By AFP
Shanghai

3,873 Viewed

Global car makers flock to the Shanghai Auto Show this week with the world’s largest vehicle market facing an unfamiliar sales slump just as China veers toward an ultra-competitive electric future.

Fuelled by rising incomes and government sales incentives, China has been the golden goose upon which the global automotive industry has staked its future.

But after years of strong growth, car sales fell last year for the first time since the 1990s, hit by a slowing economy, US trade tension, and a Chinese crackdown on shady credit practices that has crimped car-financing channels.

Sales dipped 2.8 percent in 2018 to 28.1 million units, according to that China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), a pace that has accelerated in recent months.

“This is the first time since the takeoff of the Chinese market that there has been such a long and sharp decline in sales,” said Laurent Petizon, an auto analyst at Alix Partners.

“We are starting to worry a little bit. It’s a new phenomenon.”

The decline is magnified by a prior buying rush as consumers moved to beat the government’s recent removal of tax rebates for small car purchases.

 

– Cut-throat –

Major carmakers still see solid potential, particularly in bright spots such as SUVs and electric vehicles, which will account for many of the new models on display in Shanghai.

But cut-throat competition is expected to intensify even in EVs with Beijing moving to phase out policies that encourage the purchase of “green” vehicles.

This mixed picture — optimism combined with worrying new realities — is reflected in the plans of carmakers like Ford.

The US manufacturer this month announced plans to launch 30 new models in China within three years, a dozen electric.

But it also unveiled a strategy to cater more directly to the evolving needs of Chinese car buyers.

This includes incorporating the artificial intelligence technology of China’s Baidu into Ford vehicles, giving Ford’s Chinese joint ventures more freedom on design choices, and other steps.

Although China is the world’s largest “new energy” vehicle market and sales soared 62 percent last year, they remain a drop in the China bucket with 1.3 million units sold, thanks in part to purchasing incentives.

But they represent the future for China, especially with the government planning to impose quotes requiring carmakers maintain a certain percentage of new energy vehicles in their Chinese production.

This has given rise to a number of Chinese EV start-ups seeking to stake out territory that will have to face off against the likes of Tesla.

 

– Tesla ups ante –

The California automaker, widely seen as the EV standard-setter, is putting more eggs in China’s basket.

Tesla chief Elon Musk broke ground in January on a factory in Shanghai — the company’s biggest overseas move yet.

The new plant will eventually have an annual production capacity of 500,000 vehicles, dramatically increasing Tesla’s output.

Foreshadowing further competition, Beijing has vowed to open its market, removing a requirement that foreign manufacturers form manufacturing joint ventures with Chinese partners.

Tesla’s planned factory is believed to be the first to take advantage of this.

Regardless of short-term jockeying for position, China will remain a crucial market, particularly in electrics, said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Germany-based Center of Automotive Research.

“The situation will slowly improve. Next year, the market will recover little by little and in three to four years, will have resumed its earlier growth,” he said.

Mazda hails record Thai sales

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

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Mazda hails record Thai sales

Auto & Audio April 12, 2019 10:08

By The Nation

Mazda Sales Thailand Co Ltd has announced record-breaking performance for the 2018 fiscal year with total sales of over 70,000 vehicles, equivalent to a growth of 25 per cent.

According to the company, the 25-per-cent growth rate is the highest for Mazda worldwide for the second straight year.

Mazda now has a market share of 6.6 per cent in Thailand, which is the second-highest for the brand in the world, and the kingdom is also the sixth-largest market for Mazda globally, the firm said.

The company said it plans to launch said new models in Thailand this year and plans to sell as much as 75,000 vehicles.

Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk, president of Mazda Sales, said: “Mazda has been highly successful this year, with similar calendar year and fiscal year sales.

“For FY2018, Mazda sales were 70,468 vehicles, surging by 25 per cent compared to FY2017 when we sold 56,379 vehicles for a 6.6-per cent market share, which is second only to the Australian market.

“Today Mazda Thailand is being closely followed by others due to the highest growth rate for Mazda worldwide for the second year in a row.

“Important factors that will help stimulate the automobile market in 2019 stems from the Thai economy that is expanding and improving since the start of the year,” Chanchai said.

“Today we have seen that the economy has improved, the stock market is becoming active again, exports are recovering and tourism is back.

“Thailand is still an interesting destination for travellers, while our agricultural products are fetching better prices. There is more purchasing power in the country.

“Many businesses are starting to move ahead, particularly the mega investment projects by the government such as the high-speed railway system or even the launching of the economic corridor project, which is aimed at making Thailand a regional economic, trade and investment centre, as well as serving as the centre for regional transport.”

BOT restricts approval of hire-purchase loans

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

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BOT restricts approval of hire-purchase loans

Auto & Audio April 08, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

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Commercial banks have been more prudent in their approval of hire-purchases loans after a warning from the Bank of Thailand (BOT), CIMB Thai’s senior executive vice president Adisorn Sermchaiwong said recently.

He added that the bank had been told to be careful in approving such loans by the central bank.

Kasikorn Leasing Co Ltd’s managing director Saranya Lelarasami said that the BOT directive would have an impact on the auto market and expects a five per cent decline in market growth from last year.

BMW answers the call for more PERFORMANCE

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

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BMW answers the call for more PERFORMANCE

Auto & Audio April 07, 2019 10:03

By Kingsley Wijayasinha
The Nation Weekend

4,136 Viewed

Special M4 models released to satisfy well-heeled enthusiasts wanting a more muscular ride

THE BMW M4 might seem like a mighty sports car for many people, but there are those who want even more performance out of this performance coupe. That’s why BMW is offering a range of special M4 models apart from the standard model, such as the M4 with Competition Package and the M4 CS.

At the top of the food chain is the race-ready M4 GTS, which is a limited-edition model with only 700 units made.

BMW Thailand offers the M4 (Bt8.399 million), M4 Competition Package (Bt8.759 million) as well as the M4 CS (Bt11.399 million).

I was lucky enough to book an M4 CS for a driving impression, and had a great time with the blue sports coupe for a week.

The muscular wheel arches give it a powerful character. There are 19-inch light alloy M wheels up front and 20-inch rims at the rear wearing low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

The M4 CS is aimed at buyers who are into motorsport or club sport, but also want a road-legal sports car. While the standard M4’s twin-turbo straight-six engine pumps out 431hp and 550Nm, the 3.0-litre engine has been tweaked for the M4 CS to deliver up to 460hp and 600Nm.

There’s a slight growl when you fire up the engine, but the M4 CS doesn’t idle with much aggression like you’d expect from the four tailpipes at the rear. You’d have to start revving the engine in order to get any respectable sound effect.

Nevertheless, acceleration from 0-100km/h drops from 4.1 seconds in the standard M4 to 3.9 seconds in the M4 CS, while the top speed is also raised, from 250km/h to 280km/h (electronically limited).

Power goes through a seven-speed M DCT double clutch gearbox, which features a separate oil cooler. The shift is generally smooth when driving in automatic mode at low speeds, while for sporty driving, the gear lever or steering wheel shift paddles can be used for sequential shifting.

I drove the M4 CS for several days and found out it’s not a difficult car to drive at all, although due to the low ground clearance, you’d likely scratch the underbody and the carbon fibre front spoiler tip pretty often (like I did).

The “comfort” mode takes off a small amount of shock from the dampers, but it’s still rock solid so never expect to get a high level of comfort in the M4 CS. The car comes with the Adaptive M suspension that has been tuned to perform well on both the road and race track – the aluminium suspension keeps unsprung masses low and that benefits driving dynamics.

Performance is also enhanced by the DSC system that comes with the M Dynamic Mode which allows drifting, and the Active M Differential. Apart from the three driving modes, the driver is also able to adjust the steering and suspension settings.

Stopping power come from M compound brakes that make squeak a little at low-speed use (a normal character), but are guaranteed to be fade-resistant when you hit it hard, with four-piston calipers up front and two-piston calipers at the rear. The brake and steering feel is tuned more towards a racing car – this is something you’ll notice at once.

Unfortunately the steering wheel is just the normal not-so-good-looking 3 Series steering that is wrapped with suede. I didn’t like it just from the way it looks as well as the bulkiness. I was also surprised that the brake and accelerator pedals were also the same as the standard 3 Series. Thankfully the rest of the interior gets better treatment.

The door panel trim is made from natural fibre (which feels cheap but surely lightweight) and has a pull loop that is pretty inconvenient to use (since it’s located too much up front). The car is low so getting in and out requires a little acrobatics. The M sports seats are like deep buckets that keep you well in place when things get rough, and there are amenities like air-conditioning as well as infotainment system, and even navigation system.

It’s a real joy that BMW is offering the M4 CS for the Thai market, although the retail pricing may not be too inspiring. Nevertheless for those who have the means and wants that track-focused performance in an everyday car, this is it.

BMW M4 CS specs

Engine: 6-cylinder 24-valve twin turbo

Displacement: 2.979cc

Bore and stroke: 84.0×89.6mm

Compression ratio: 10.2

Max power: 460hp/6,250rpm

Max torque: 600/4,000-5,380rpm

Transmission: 7-speed double clutch

Ratios: 4.806/2.593/1.701/1.277/1.000/0.844/0.671

Final drive ratio: 3.462

0-100km/h: 3.9 secs

Top speed: 280km/h

Average fuel economy: 12.3km/l

BMW awards 35 scholarships to automotive apprentices

Published April 6, 2019 by SoClaimon

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BMW awards 35 scholarships to automotive apprentices

Auto & Audio April 05, 2019 23:19

By The Nation

As part of an effort to turn Thailand into a global automotive hub, BMW Group Thailand has been running the BMW Service Apprentice Programme to enhance the skills of vocational students for seven years now.

This year BMW awarded 35 scholarships to students from Don Bosco Technical College, the Eastern Technological College (E.TECH) and Chitralada Vocational School.

Since 2012, BMW Group Thailand, the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC) and authorised BMW dealers joined forces to raise the standards of Thai vocational education as part of the German-Thai Dual Excellence Education programme (GTDEE).

Students who have passed the evaluation exam receive a diploma equivalent to the A-level standard in Germany. The BMW Service Apprentice Programme has so far supported to eight batches of students, totalling 167 individuals, including those currently being trained and those who are now working within the BMW authorised dealer network.

Apart from creating a competent workforce by enhancing the soon-to-be technicians’ skills, the BMW Service Apprentice Programme has also expanded to cover the BMW Motorrad service apprentice training since 2018.

The BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand is also offering a dual vocational training programme with the objective of cultivating a robust knowledge of mechatronics, a skill that is much in demand in the automotive industry. When combined with practical skills from on-the-job training, participating students will be encouraged expand their potential and apply their skills on an international stage.

Free Songkran check-ups offered by Chevrolet

Published April 6, 2019 by SoClaimon

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Free Songkran check-ups offered by Chevrolet

Auto & Audio April 05, 2019 23:15

By The Nation

Chevrolet Thailand is supporting the Department of Land Transport’s “Free Check-Up, Travel Safe” campaign to promote road safety by urging its customers to have their vehicles inspected before going on road trips during the Songkran holiday.

The “Chevrolet Summer Drive 2019” campaign offers customers free 30-point inspections before and after their trips and is available every day until the end of April.

Customers will also receive Chevrolet souvenirs if their service bills this month exceed THB 5,000 per vehicle per visit.

Chevrolet is also recommending that drivers prepare themselves for long road trips by planning their routes and ensuring they get enough sleep beforehand.

They should also have easy access to the names and phone numbers of emergency contacts, it advises.

VOLVO’S 2018 SALES HIT FIFTH RECORD IN A ROW

Published April 6, 2019 by SoClaimon

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Chris Wailes, managing director of Volvo Car Thailand
Chris Wailes, managing director of Volvo Car Thailand

VOLVO’S 2018 SALES HIT FIFTH RECORD IN A ROW

Auto & Audio April 05, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

Volvo experienced its fifth consecutive year of record sales globally in 2018 with 642,000 units , after a 12.4 per cent growth last year from 2017. This dovetails with Volvo (Thailand) receiving extremely positive feedback from Thai customers in 2018 , selling 1,292 cars or a 13 per cent growth from 2017 , with a premium segment share of 4.2 per cent.

Volvo also increased business sales by 50 per cent and successfully introduced the all new XC40, the best ever launch for Volvo Thailand. The three top-selling models were the XC60, XC90 and S90, Chris Wailes, managing director of Volvo Car Thailand said.

From luxury models to workhorses, it’s all on

Published April 1, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

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  • BMW X7
  • Aston Martin Valkyrie
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Toyota Supra
  • Lexus UX 250h
  • Ford Mustang and Ranger Raptor
  • Ford Mustang and Ranger Raptor
  • Volvo XC 60
  • Volvo XC 60
  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Mazda KAI concept (Mazda3)
  • Chevrolet Captiva
  • Lamborghini Huracan EVO
  • Audi e-tron 55 quattro

From luxury models to workhorses, it’s all on

Auto & Audio March 31, 2019 10:37

By Kingsley Wijayasinha
The Nation Weekend

AUTO LOVERS WILL FIND PLENTY TO SATISFY THEIR CRAVINGS AT BANKGOK INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW

VISITORS TO this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show will get a good chance to check out the latest trends and sales promotions for automobiles.

More than 1.6 million people are expected to come to the 12-day event, held at IMPACT Muangthong Thani.

This year’s event has a good mix of highlights from every segment, ranging from luxury cars, supercars, passenger cars as well as pickup trucks and SUVs.

A total of 33 auto brands and 14 motorcycle brands are participating this year.

A larger number of automakers are also introducing electric vehicles (EVs), although most are targeted at the upper market.

The Audi e-tron is a full electric luxury SUV that is priced at slightly over Bt5 million, while the Jaguar I-Pace is priced at Bt5.499 million. Both claim operating ranges of over 400 kilometres on a single full charge.

BMW’s highlight is the X7 SUV and the Z4 roadster (the new 3 Series also come with an AI personal assistant), while arch-rival Mercedes-Benz is putting the S 560 e plugin hybrid on the centrestage. The highlight at the Lexus stand is the UX 250h hybrid SUV.

Nissan’s LEAF EV is a more affordable model retailing at the Bt2 million neighbourhood, but consumers looking for an affordable EV with regular body size might still have to wait further. Otherwise, FOMM offers a range of small EVs that are great for low-speed use.

A large number of supercars take up positions around the Challenger Hall. They include McLaren, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche and Aston Martin (which is wowing visitors with the Valkyrie AMR. Even Toyota is showing off its reincarnated Supra sports car, which is co-developed with BMW’s Z4. Small-car expert Suzuki is making a comeback into the small SUV market with the Jimny, which brings back memories of the widely popular Caribbean in the past. MG is also entering a new segment, introducing the V80 van.

Honda and Toyota will be battling out in the hybrid sedan market with the Accord and Camry, both priced under Bt2 million, while Ford is attracting more customers to its Mustang stable. The Ford Ranger Raptor is also gaining customers looking for high-end pickup trucks.

Apart from the chance to buy cars, there are also other activities at the Bangkok Motor Show, including a large number of car club meetings, driver training events and off-road driving.

Yontrakit Kia announces 50% sales growth in 2018

Published April 1, 2019 by SoClaimon

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Yontrakit Kia announces 50% sales growth in 2018

Auto & Audio March 29, 2019 14:44

By The Nation

Yontrakit Kia Motors has announced that its 2018 overall sales saw a 50 per cent growth compared to 2017, marking a 10-year high for the company.

The company said in a press release on Friday that plans to further the market penetration with the Grand Carnival, Kia’s flagship MPV model, along with unveiling of more new models in the second half of 2019. There will be openings of new showrooms and service centres to cover more areas and support the growing number of Kia customers, starting with Phuket this mid-2019, said Rosesanant Punithipandkul, marketing manager at Yontrakit Kia Motors.

“2018 was a massive success for Kia in Thailand with overall sales coming in at 1,572 cars, which was a 50 per cent increase from 2017. This is the highest sales for Kia in the last 10 years in Thailand,” she said.

“The main contributor to this success was the Grand Carnival, which is an 11-seater multi-purpose Premium MPV that has seen enormous positive feedback ever since the model’s minor change in early 2018. The accumulated sales of this generation of the Grand Carnival, as of current, is over 3,000 units.”

In 2018, the company also launched cars in other categories including Stinger sports sedan and Soul EV (Electric Vehicle). This made Kia the first brand to officially launch an electric cars in the country, and Kia is planning to introduce more models of electric cars in the future to come, she said.

“Even though the market for electric cars is still small at the moment, it has a huge growth potential in the foreseeable future due to technological advances and support from the government. In order to strive in Thailand’s electric car market, Yontrakit Kia is considering introducing more models in the second half of 2019, these include the Kia Niro and the all new Kia Soul EV”

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