2024 Bangkok International Motor Show – Chinese carmakers and their EV sub-brands dominate BIMS

2024 Bangkok International Motor Show – Chinese carmakers and their EV sub-brands dominate BIMS

Sawadeekap. We’re reporting live from the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) and it feels a bit different at Impact Muang Thong Thani this year. The location of the media room where I’m stationed at, for one, and the lack of physical press tags that necessitate the display of a QR code in the Line app every time we enter a hall. The latter sounds like progress, but is less user friendly in practice, much like the deletion of steering stalks.

But the real change I’m talking about is the heavy presence of car brands from China at BIMS. This isn’t the first time in Bangkok for the Chinese giants, of course, and the likes of SAIC’s MG has been in the Thai market for awhile now, but a couple of debuting brands gives Chinese OEMs a dominating presence at Impact.

We’ll start off with BYD, which is occupying the biggest plot for a single brand (equal to BMW/MINI and slightly smaller than Toyota/Lexus). Unlike last year, the Shenzhen-based EV specialist did not pack their booth with its entire line-up from China; instead the bright and breezy stand focuses on right-hand drive cars that are on sale in Thailand (and Malaysia) such as the Seal, Dolphin and Atto 3.

2024 Bangkok International Motor Show – Chinese carmakers and their EV sub-brands dominate BIMS

We’re also familiar with Great Wall Motor (GWM) and its Ora-branded EVs like the Good Cat and 07, but the Baoding-based group also has vehicles from sub-brands Tank (rugged-looking SUVs), Haval (mainstream SUVs) and Poer (pick-up truck) in the hall. The Cannon truck has made a low-key entry in Malaysia but we’re still waiting for the Havals.

The OG China brand in Thailand is MG, which is only entering Malaysia now. The SAIC-owned brand with a 100-year-old history has its usual range of EVs and SUVs in the house (MG 4 and ZS SUV EVs are the launch models for Malaysia) but taking all the limelight is the sexy Cyberster, an electric drop-top sports car that we’ll show you more of later.

Changan is making a big splash at BIMS. The Chongqing carmaker has its Deepal EVs in the house, consisting of the S07 SUV and L07 sedan. Either side of Deepal in the Changan brand hierarchy is Avatr (the 11 SUV is here) and Lumin, which has a super cute EV city car as the BIMS lucky draw prize. Think Wuling Air EV but with a cartoon face and half-opened eyes.

2024 Bangkok International Motor Show – Chinese carmakers and their EV sub-brands dominate BIMS

Sitting opposite Changan is Aion, which is owned by GAC. Aion, the EV sub-brand of the Guangzhou carmaker GAC is now in Malaysia under the Tan Chong Group, and we’ve just previewed the Y Plus crossover/MPV. The brand’s full range is on display here, from regular SUVs and sedans to the Hyper SSR sports car that does 0-100 km/h in 1.9 seconds. Unlike in Malaysia, the group’s namesake GAC brand and its ICE cars aren’t here.

Of interest to us in Malaysia is Xpeng, which is the latest brand to come under the Bermaz umbrella. The EV start-up from Guangzhou has a nice, distinctive look to its cars, which is not a given when it comes to Chinese brands. The G6 SUV that is tipped for Malaysia is here, along with the larger G9 SUV and the P7, a big sedan (think Model S) with Lamborghini-style doors. All the cars here are left-hand drive and the S4 supercharger at the booth has China’s own GB/T port. Oh, and there’s a flying car and a robodog too.

We also have Zeekr. Geely’s EV brand has a little corner in the hall previewing what’s to come for Thailand, and we see the Zeekr X compact SUV, the 007 sedan and the luxury 009 MPV, which is the donor car to the Volvo EM90. All the Zeekr cars we see here are LHD except for the funky X.

Finally, we have Neta and its V-II, which is basically an facelifted version of the Neta V. Launching here for the Thai market, the locally-assembled budget EV has a slightly revised fascia, a distinctly different rear end (full-width LEDs) and ADAS safety/driver assist features for the first time. A conspicuous absence from BIMS is Chery, which had its own Omoda & Jaecoo media event in Thailand last week.

This is just a first-walk overview of BIMS 2024 and we’ll be bringing you more from the show this week, covering the growing Chinese contingent and more familiar car names from Japan, South Korea and Europe. Click on the links to see what these China EVs look like and stay tuned.

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Learn more: 2024 Bangkok Motor Show



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