Big bargains at Bangkok motor show

BANGKOK - The Bangkok International Motor Show, which opened to the public on Wednesday, offers a reflection of where Thailand's auto market is today. This year, automakers are focusing more on sales promotions than on showing off their latest models.

The reality is auto demand in Thailand shows no sign of picking up.

Ford Motor has brought the Everest, an SUV that was unveiled in China last year, to the show, which runs through April 5. The most basic configuration, featuring a 2.2-liter engine, is priced at 1.26 million baht (US$39,312).

Ford leads all US and European automakers in Thai market share, at slightly over 3 per cent. While it is holding out hope that the Everest will help its sales, Ford also knows SUVs are not particularly popular in Thailand.

Ford also brought some incentives to the show, like an extension of the maximum interest-free period on loans for the Focus subcompact, from 48 months to 72 months.

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