Are imported cars really better than those made in Thailand?

One common belief in Thailand is that imported goods are better than those made or grown in Thailand. This is also the belief that is attached to cars, where most want imported cars as they believe imported cars are better than those assembled and made in Thailand.


Photo credit: CLF on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND


Imported cars that are brought into Thailand normally belong to the higher end price ranges of cars. For example, some models of Mercedes and BMW, to supercars such as Maserati, Porsche, and even extreme luxury cars such as Bentley. This is because it is believed that the standard held is in the original country of the brand is higher and more strict than those implemented by the factories in Thailand.


There is one main issue that comes with imported cars that most choose to not focus on as they are willing to buy an upper-class car for the quality that the cars come with. The roads of Thailand are very different from the roads in the western world, especially considering the roads of Germany, the famous nation of world-class cars where roads often come with higher speed limits providing a better opportunity for the car to fully show its performance abilities.


The roads of Thailand are known to be not the best, with traffic that hardly allows the car to go over 100 km/hr, where most roads have a speed limit of 80 – 100 km/hr. For sports cars, they can hardly go out of the city, where dirt roads and high stops can scratch the bottom of the car. Overall, the roads and traffic circumstances of Thailand is very different to those in Europe where the car designs are based on.


In the past few years, car brands from the USA and Japan have chosen to open up factories in ASEAN nations, such as the Philippines. Where the brands claim the same quality control and measures are applied in the new factories.


Currently, over 90% of the cars in Thailand are assembled in Thailand, based on information from Tonkit. This is because people are trusting car brands to implement the same quality control to cars that are made and assembled in Thailand, while also considering the reasoning of tax calculation added from the original price. Furthermore, Japanese companies have even started producing cars in Thailand to export to other nations.




Even higher brands such as BMW and Mercedes that have become a common sighting on Thai roads have started to move their production base to Thailand. This is because of the impact of ASEAN, as Thailand is often seen as the capital hub to the ASEAN market. Where this is an important factor to consider, as European brands have now designed parts especially for Thai roads and Thai weather, for a more fitting vehicle that will last longer, and perform better in Thailand.


FB Caption: Is the extra cost really worth it?


Source: Tonkit, Sanook