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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

From North America, but moved to Asia 8 years ago. Have avoided owning a car living in Bangkok, but with prices going up 30% next year and 3 month old baby in town I figured it was time.

So taxes here range from 100% to 300%. 100% on cars that are made in Thailand and 300% on imported vehicles. Volvo regionally assembles cars in Malaysia and has for many decades. The V40 and XC60 is also assembled there. It might be because of some ASEAN trade agreement, but the tax on the Volvo seems to be closer to 100%.

With that said, the selection of car models for sale in Thailand is around 1/10th of what you would find in the USA. Within that 1/10th is probably 1/50th of the options and little stock and good luck finding a test drive. Bottom line, it's not the fun experience it is in the states.

Started off looking at the Accord and Camry Hybrid, both at 1.9M Thai BHT, which is around 55,000US. Really nice cars, but found a lot of faults in both. Just so happens there is a car show going on right now so I went down. Checked out BMW and Benz, and saw the C class. They had 4 models starting at 72,000US, with "man made leather" seats. That might be the most arrogant term for pleather ever. The C300 BlueTec Hybrid at 86,000US was the first model to have leather seats, and you had to go up from there. Okay, so for fun.. the Mayback S 500 is 486,000US. The E Class started at around 115,000US. BMW, they have such a poor reputation here, I didn't even stop by but for more than a few minutes. Audi only stocks the A6, and a few other models and while you can find other models, they are gray market, no warranty, and 300%++

Then there was Volvo. Hello. Hadn't thought about Volvo in so long, but it was always what my dad's brothers side of the family drove. They loved them.. cousin even had their Ad account back in the 80s.

Had a very nice talk with their sales team, and found out they had one 2015 V60 T5 Special Edition FWD with Polestar and many other upgrades left, Silver with saddle interior. They had 32 for the year, and were pushing the V60 T4F which nobody seems to want to buy due to the old engine design, etc. The V60 T5 is 72,000US..basically loaded with every single option, Polestar, and 18 inch rims. Less than 20,000 more than the Accord or Camry and well, not comparable as far as I could see. Read every review the next few days, researched till my eyes turned black..and then I signed... will probably take possession in a few weeks if I follow through.

Still crazy to spend that much, but that is life here... and I have to accept that with my $2 pad thai. I have spent a lot of time over the last few days getting up to speed on Volvo, Geely, the new engines, the changes coming over the next 5 years... all very promising.

I already know most of the reviews, I drove the V60 T4F FWD and it was nice... I also drove the V40 R T5 FWD and thats a rocket ship. Hoping the V60 is somewhere in between. Really liked the V40, was very tempted especially in Bangkok where everything is so small, but the V60 increase space and features were more family friendly.

Imagine, I have no choice of color, interior, no test drive, haven't even seen the car..no choice of engine, AWD, etc.. We have one car, and o yea... next year, it will cost 30% more at 93,000US. So to all of you, be grateful that you can shop the way you do in the states.

While I was at the show, I met the director of Volvo Thailand, directly from Sweden. What a candid and wonderful woman, really great to hear about their challenges in this market...which is challenging for any brand in most industries.

As an Apple Techy, I do wish the IT system was up to speed with it's larger new sibling, but that probably won't hit Thailand for at least 5 years as we lag here nearly 1 year.

Any advise, notes or feedback about the V60 T5 FWD, like don't do it, or you are going to love it, or make sure you check this out would be great and helpful since I had to do all of this at the last minute, which I'm not happy about and a little nervous... Happy to be here, love those Volvo sport seats, and thank you for taking the time to read this.
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