Organizers of the Bangkok International Motor Show have insisted that the show will go on despite the political turmoil in the Thai capital.
Over 1.6 million people are expected to attend the show between March 26 and April 4, making it the largest show in the world in terms of visitors.
Despite widespread demonstrations in the Thai capital in support of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, show boss Prachin Eamlumnow told the Bangkok Post that he was "not worried" and that the show had beaten political turbulence before.
For one manufacturer in particular, there is a lot riding on the 31st edition of the Bangkok show. Nissan is set to officially launch the March, the first car to be sold under the Thai government's generously-subsidized "eco-car" program. Thailand is to join China, India and Mexico as a global manufacturing hub for the March, more widely known as the Nissan Micra in the west (launched at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month).
"Producing and selling the eco-friendly Nissan March in Thailand, as well as exporting it to other countries in the Asian and Oceania markets, will create jobs and contribute to the country's progressive auto industry development," explained Nissan's Toshiyuki Shiga.
Nissan believes that the low-cost, efficient March will be a hit in countries like Thailand, where car sales are booming thanks to improved agricultural income. Vehicle sales jumped 57.7 percent year on year in February 2010, according to Thailand's motor industry association, the biggest increase in seven years.
Show organizers are aiming the show at the newly wealthy Thai consumer. Almost every automotive brand on sale in Thailand will be on show across the 78,300 square meters of the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) - a total of 130 companies.
In an adjoining hall, motorcycles and boats will be on display, along with another hall dedicated to car accessories. For those not turned on by cars, the show's "Miss Motorshow" contest winners will be on hand.
The Bangkok International Motor Show runs March 26 - April 6 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre.
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