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COLORADO LS 4X2 MANUAL
Offers available on new cars sold by March 31 2015 or while stocks lasts. Not available with any other offers.
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THE 7 SEATER
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❚ Continued from page 2
Ute industry competition includes a brand-new Mitsubishi Triton, which is being introduced in New Zealand right now.
The latest-generation Nissan Navara
has been launched in Thailand, and is
due here soon.
even facelifted ute represents big
news in Thailand. That’s
especially the case right now, as
the motor industry is currently
experiencing tough times as it
works to recover from the effects
of a first-car subsidy scheme
introduced in 2012 that was
supposed to revive the industry
after the disastrous floods of 2011,
but backfired because it helped
consign thousands of Thai
families into record household
That scheme offered a tax
refund of up to 100,000 baht (about
NZ$4100) to anyone buying their
first vehicle, and it sparked an 81
per cent surge in sales. But then
many families found themselves
lumbered with so much debt they
couldn’t pay their hire purchase
instalments. Finance companies
seized the affected vehicles and
sold them as used cars, which in
turn caused new vehicle sales to
In 2012 there were 1.4 million
new vehicle sales in Thailand. A
year later this reduced to 1.3
million. Last year the figure was
880,000 – a massive 35 per cent
Ford Thailand has been as
affected as any other
manufacturer, posting domestic
sales of 38,000 vehicles last year,
down almost 26 per cent. But of
that total, 30,700 of the sales were
commercial vehicles, primarily
the Ranger, a figure that was 5.6
per cent up on the previous year.
Last year Ford also sold more
than 100,000 vehicles in the Asean
region, with the Ranger
accounting for half of that total.
So with all that as background,
it was little wonder Ford made
such a big deal out of revealing
the facelifted Ranger at Bangkok.
The company reminded regional
journalists that the current model
out-performed all other players in
the pickup segment last year –
and that it intends continuing
that trend this year.
But it will be a tough battle,
because rival manufacturers are
all also launching new or
upgraded utes. This includes
Toyota which will soon introduce
a new Hilux, General Motors
which has just upgraded the
Colorado, Mitsubishi which is
currently launching a new Triton,
and Nissan which has just
launched its latest Navara,
expected in New Zealand mid-
year. And while Mazda didn’t
have its BT-50 on display at the
show, a facelift is imminent.
So it’s all on in Thailand,
which can easily lay claim to
being the one-tonne ute capital of
the world. And the good news
about that is what Thailand
builds, New Zealand imports. It’s
going to make for interesting
times for our own ute market over
the next 12 months.
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