PublishedÂ onÂ Â 02/11/2010
Motor Expo still on course The year-end motor show will not be postponed, as all preparations are in place for the event despite the unclear flood outlook. The 28th Thailand International Motor Expo remains scheduled for Dec 1-12 at Impact Challenger Hall at Muang Thong Thani. Yesterday, exactly one month before the event kicks off, the organisers confirmed that construction contractors, car brand owners and accessories vendors remained ready to proceed. "We'd like to reiterate that the upcoming expo will not be postponed despite the massive flooding that is threatening the whole city," said organising chairman Kwanchai Paphatphong. He said that while the motor show was aimed at showcasing the latest models, it will also be a refreshing event providing a diversion for people battling the worst flooding in 69 years. They can shop for new cars to replace their flood-damaged vehicles, he said. Orders are now expected miss the target of 30,000 units, while visitor numbers will also be reduced to slightly more than a million from an earlier projection of 1.6 million. Still, 36 car and four motorcycle brands remain confirmed. One factor keeping orders down at the event will be concerns over delivery delays due to suspended production along with uncertainty over when factories can resume operations due to parts shortages.
"Carmakers will have to make their utmost effort to manage parts sourcing. Whoever is quickest to secure a supply from wherever will have an advantage over the others," said Mr Kwanchai. At the moment, demand is overwhelming while supply is short, similar to the situation in the wake of Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami. That disaster disrupted the supply of electronic parts imported into Thailand, crippling local automobile production. "The Thai flooding is proving more severe than the Japanese disaster since Thailand is a global automotive hub. Many car production facilities in Japan and North America have started feeling the pinch from this crisis," he said. Â