Spectacular. If I had to sum-up the on-going BIMS2016 in one word, that would be it, really. Apart from the fact that it’s held in the largest pillar-less hall in SEA (above), the IMPACT Challenger, which makes covering the entire show very easy, It’s also the fact that all the carmakers participating take this show very seriously…
Sure there’s truck-loads of eye-candy in the form of the lovely ‘Babes of BIMS’, like the two below, but that somehow never detracts from the sheer magnitude and dedication of the individual display stands. Click here for the FULL gallery of BIMS Babes.
Make no mistake though, unlike other motorshows, BIMS is a sales event too, and nowhere is this more prevalent than at the rear of each booth, for it is there where all the real action takes place.
Behind each booth (below), be they large or small, there’s a dedicated team of hungry sales reps, eagerly awaiting potential customers. So frenetic are the sales that happen at BIMS, that banks and insurance companies actually set-up their own little kiosks to assist in loan applications on the spot.
It’s not just the big bread-and-butter players either like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. who take advantage of snagging sales during BIMS, but also niche players like Rolls-Royce. In fact, one of the first sales to be closed at BIMS this year was for a roller (below)!
The overall ambiance at BIMS can only be classified as energetic. There’s a buzz in the air from the moment one steps into that massive hall, till it’s time to go, there’s a palpable energy surrounding everything, from the smallest accessory booth, to the biggest show-stands like the aforementioned big players, the excitement is intoxicating. Even the Meguiars crew of at least a hundred personnel contracted to keep the display cars smudge-free seem to be in on it.
One of the best aspects of BIMS though is its organisation, not just from a visitor or carmaker standpoint, but also from a media perspective. I can honestly say that in addition to the legendary Tokyo Motorshow, BIMS ranks in my book as one of the most media-friendly shows anywhere. I think it’s dawned on them that positive publicity for the show – now in its 37th edition – is always welcome, and thus the team at Grand Prix International (GPI) make sure that everything required to ensure that important aspect of any motorshow is well taken care of.
There are no less than three huge Press Rooms here, each with free wifi, access to computers, phones, fax machines (yes, some people still use those), photo-copier machines, lockers, free-flow of food and drinks, etc. dedicated to the media, who attend in their hundreds from all over the globe, some even from as far away as Ireland.
Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow, above, the President and CEO of GPI, has been in the game for a long time. One of several interests on his extensive plate, BIMS is his baby, and it’s very obvious that the passion and dedication that he has for this show is extraordinary.
“This year, I’m pleased to see that all the carmakers have invested a lot more than before in their individual stands” he said during the meet-the-press session.
“For example, if you see the Mercedes-Benz display, it is exactly like how it would be if you went to the Geneva or Frankfurt Motorshows” he enthused.
“Thailand is fast becoming the main automotive hub in this region; more and more of our locally-produced cars are being exported to 140 countries around the globe, and many foreign carmakers are not just setting-up assembly operations here, but also R&D departments, VW for example” he added.
“In addition, while some countries abroad use a lot of robotics, up to 90%, to make a car, in Thailand, we use a mixture of robots and humans to build cars, so we still have that ‘human-touch’ when it comes to building cars, and carmakers have begun to appreciate the skill of our people when it comes to building cars; just like how Rolls-Royce build cars by hand, you could say so do we (laughs)”
Keeping the mood light-hearted, I asked Dr. Prachin – since he mentioned Rolls-Royce – if he was the one who bought the special one-off RR Ghost KoChaMongKol Edition, above, made especially for Thailand using elements found throughout the land as inspiration and globally-premiered at BIMS, to which he replied, “No. Someone beat me to it” (laughs)
It’s not just the aforementioned high-end cars that makes BIMS so alluring though, it’s the fact that there’s something for everyone at the show. From the cheapest Ford Fiesta to the most expensive RR Phantom, and everything in between, Challenger 1 was a veritable oasis of everything automotive.
Even motorcycle fans were well taken care of, this year the bike stands were on equal footing with the car boys, insofar as floor-space and displays were concerned. The big four from Japan were well represented, as well as the Italians and Americans (above) too, not to mention homeboys Stallions, who continue to impress greatly with their modern retro-classic builds.
And perhaps knowing not everyone is an audiophile, the ICE boys were still out in full force this year, with easily the best ‘eye-candy’ of the show. Pioneer for example…
The Accessories Plaza, housed in an adjacent hall was where many car-modders headed to at the tail-end of their visit, me included. Strategically located just outside Challenger 1, it housed a myriad of car accessories, with just about everything one could possibly want from the modding scene, again replete with their own showgirls.
All in all, it’s safe to say that the Bangkok International Motorshow is still the best that this region has to offer, and as I said earlier, there’s something for everyone, even classic and old-skool car fans would not be disappointed, seeing as how a few days after the launch, on 28th March to be exact, BIMS2016 launched the Used & Classic Car Show at the same premises, showcasing quality used cars as well as classics!
If you’re in the area, do drop by BIMS2016, or at the very least, mark it down in your calendar for next year – it usually happens around the end of March – to coincide with your ‘family holiday’, believe me, you won’t regret it. – CW.
Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow, President & CEO of Grand Prix International, as well as his entire BIMS team, for the invite and gracious hospitality at BIMS2016, and a special shout-out to Neng Pornlertrangsan & Jiyoung Song for being just remarkable at what you do, you’re awesome.
BIMS 2016 Photo Gallery…