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Car bookings surge 13.6% at annual Bangkok motor show

Car bookings at the 43rd Bangkok International Motor Show, which ended on Sunday, rose by 13.6% to 33,936 units, with electric vehicles (EVs) attracting interest from motorists following the government's EV incentive package.

The sales growth in the midst of the ongoing pandemic was because of marketing campaigns and the state-backed promotion of EVs, said Jaturont Komolmis, vice-chairman of the motor show and chief executive of Grand Prix International Plc, which organised the 12-day event.

"Internal combustion engine-powered cars still dominated the bookings, making up 31,896 units of total bookings, an increase of 14.4%," he said.

Toyota was ranked first, with 5,128 car orders, followed by Honda (3,019), Mazda (2,906), Isuzu (2,594) and Mitsubishi (2,553).

EV bookings also increased by 10% to 2,040 units, with SAIC Motor-CP and MG Sales (Thailand), the manufacturer and distributor of MG cars, receiving the highest orders, followed by Chinese sport utility vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motor (GWM).

MG's MG EP, MG ZS EV, and GWM's Ora Good Cat are among the manufacturers' most popular models. The two companies had a total of 1,520 orders for these models.

"Both brands received a good response from buyers because they signed agreements with the government to join its EV incentive package," said Mr Jaturont.

The package, which includes tax cuts and subsidies ranging from 70,000 baht to 150,000 baht, is aimed at promoting EV consumption and production between 2022-23.

MG offered a discount of 150,000 baht on its EVs while GWM provided a discount of 160,500-161,000 baht, according to the motor show organiser.

In the motorcycle segment, bookings increased slightly by 2% to 2,040 units.

Yamaha was ranked first, with 939 orders, followed by Harley-Davidson (305), Kawasaki (252), Royal Enfield (193) and Suzuki (182).

Some 1.57 million people visited the event, which was organised under strict Covid-19 screening, said Mr Jaturont.

The event was expected to boost domestic car sales, but the Thai Automotive Industry Association earlier expressed concern that the Russia-Ukraine war is threatening to cause a shortage of auto parts for European automakers, which will affect global supply chains and car assembly in Thailand.

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