Even during a pandemic, the show went on.
The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a major blow to global auto shows, which were already struggling to survive as many automakers like Lamborghini find new venues for their reveals. The cancelations began with the 2020 Geneva Motor Show and a slew of US-based events like the 2020 New York Auto Show and Pebble Beach soon followed. The US may be done with auto shows until at least 2021, but in Bangkok, Thailand, the story is a bit different.
The 41st Bangkok International Motor Show opened to the public on July 15, 2020, following several delays from the originally scheduled date in March. "This is more than the motor show, but also Thailand's reputation because the other event organizers will be watching," said Prachin Eamlumnow, chief executive and head organizer of the event.
It may seem strange to host a large auto show during a pandemic but Thailand has gone seven weeks without a locally transmitted case of Covid-19 and the country has been easing restrictions to restart its economy. The event features cars from 25 different brands including cool displays like a Jaguar I-Pace art car, aftermarket accessories, and even a few new car reveals like the Toyota Corolla Cross. This being a smaller show based in Asia, there are also a number of oddball vehicles that we don't get here in the US like the Lexus LM 300h, Peugeot 2008, MG ZS, and Takano mini trucks.
The show's organizers carefully planned the event with socially distancing measures in mind. Crowd sizes are limited at the entrance and each booth has specially marked entry and exit points. Attendees will also have to scan a QR code when entering or exiting a booth. All workers at the event will wear masks or face shields. "The government allowed us to hold [the event], but we still must be very careful," Prachin said. Perhaps this can act as a blueprint for future shows here in the US and elsewhere.