Thailand Motor Expo 2009

As planned, I went to see the Thailand Motor Expo 2009 show on Thursday afternoon. They have a free shuttle bus from Chatuchak Park Subway Station / Mo Chit Skytrain Station. The problem is the small Golden Dragon buses are very cramped and the driver waits until it is full with 19 passengers before departing. This took twenty minutes and the overall journey was the best part of one hour through heavy Northern Bangkok traffic.

IMPACT Link Shuttle Bus

IMPACT Link Shuttle Bus

Then I found that a member of the Thai Royal Family was visiting the show at the same time. Thus the exhibition was surrounded by hundreds of army and police officers. The Thai forces are extremely efficient when members of the Royal Family are involved.

They were not letting any guests into the building so I had to hand around outside. After about 45 minutes a convoy drew up to the main entrance. The police kept us well away from that area. But I was able to photograph the vehicles. After the Royal Person (I don’t know who it was) went into the hall the cars came near me to turn around for a speedy departure.

That group consisted of a cream Mercedes-Benz S-Class, four red BMW 5-Series and two escorting police cars: a slightly older BMW 5-Series and a Toyota Camry.

Royal Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Royal Mercedes-Benz S-Class

A military band played as the Royal Person entered the hall.

It was all very impressive.

When I finally got into the exhibition hall I was running a bit late. I had to pay 80 Baht entrance fee. If I had bought a ticket at the Subway Station I could have got one for 40 Baht but they were out when I asked. Still, 80 Baht is very cheap and it included the return bus to the Subway.

The exhibition was in three halls of the enormous IMPACT Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Centre. It’s the biggest in Thailand and maybe in the region. It’s also a well-known venue for concerts.

I only had time to visit one hall, but it was the one with the major manufacturers’ stands.

I was not disappointed: almost every stand had a team of pretty girls promoting the vehicles.

BMW Pretty

BMW Pretty

There were plenty of photographers around, many with some expensive kit. I took my Canon EOS-30D with the Canon 580EX flash and my widest angle lens. It is, I confess the old “kit lens” from the EOS-300D – the Canon EF-S 18-55mm.

Photographing the Pretties

Photographing the Pretties

I know serious photographers deride this lens, but for my purposes of taking “record” shots for display on the web it was fine and I appreciated the 18mm wide-angle. Of course it was the wrong lens to have when I was photographing the Royal vehicles outside. But I had enough high quality pixels shooting in RAW that I obtained adequate pictures after cropping in Lightroom.

I think the ideal lens for this job would have been my friend’s fast Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM with its high speed and thus shallower depth-of-field. Maybe he’ll allow me to borrow it some day.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM - the ideal lens for the job?

I saw a small but high-quality exhibit of older vehicles including this Jaguar E-Type.

Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type

The Tata Nano was on the Tata stand. I don’t know if they plan to sell it in Thailand. I think it is too small for the market. Outside Bangkok people haevily favour light trucks like the Isuzu DMax and the Toyota Hilux Vigo – both made in Thailand.

Tata Nano

Tata Nano

The show runs through 13th December. If I have time I’ll go again and take more time to look around. There were some exhibits on the outside of the halls like a 4×4 obstacle course. It was not in use when I went to look. Perhaps it is an evening attraction.

Overall I was impressed with the Motor Expo. It was easily as professional and interesting as those I have been to in England and America.

Here are slide shows from the 2008 and 2009 shows.

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5 Responses to “Thailand Motor Expo 2009”

  1. fontok69 Says:

    Sure, anytime!

  2. Munaf Says:

    Nano is little beutiful toy

  3. BKKPhotographer Says:

    See http://indianautosblog.com/2009/06/tata-motors-thailand-eco-car-project for some info on Tata’s projects in Thailand.

  4. Ian Says:

    I am there now.

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