Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:57

Honda joins the expansion

Does the future of the Thai auto industry look good?  You betcha!  The latest to join the expansions is Honda which is going to spend B. 17 billion on a new assembly plant at Prachin Buri and another three billion baht on expansion of the current Ayutthaya assembly plant.  This will provide for an output of 300,000 units per year by 2014.

Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:55

Suzuki an early Myanmar investor

Early news from CEA boss Kevin Fisher, who reported that Suzuki are building a new plant next door to his new CEA yard in Myanmar.  This plant will supposedly be operational by mid-year, though other sources have said that the date for being fully operational could be some years off.  Permission has been granted by the Myanmar government for Suzuki to recommence manufacture, after the cessation in 2010 of the business license.

Last week I asked what significant motoring news happened in Camden, NJ in 1933?  It was the opening of the first Drive-In movie theatre, attended by 600 motorists.  (From the History website: Richard Hollingshead, a movie fan, came up with the idea of an open-air theater where patrons watched movies in the comfort of their own automobiles.  The young entrepreneur received a patent for the concept in May of 1933 and opened Park-In Theaters, Inc. less than a month later, with an initial investment of $30,000.  The idea caught on, and after Hollingshead’s patent was overturned in 1949, drive-in theaters began popping up all over the country.  One of the largest was the All-Weather Drive-In of Copiague, New York, which featured parking space for 2,500 cars, a kid’s playground and a full service restaurant, all on a 28 acre lot.)

So to this week.  Who invented the first practical windscreen wiper?  Clue: 1911.

For the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 16:46

Taking the liver on holidays

After the usual heavy Xmas/New Year, many folk make their New Year’s resolution to lay off the booze for a period.

Now your liver is one of the most amazing organs you possess.  Given the right circumstances, it can regenerate up to 90 percent of itself, a fact that many seasoned drinkers rely upon.  Giving up alcohol in January is seen by many as an ideal way to begin a healthier new year.  For those of you who have managed a “Dry January”, one that is free from alcohol, you might well be feeling a sense of achievement.

Thursday, 07 February 2013 13:50

New Chevrolet Corvette goes topless

The hard-top version of the new Chevrolet Corvette was released at the Detroit Motor Show last month, but GM have now leaked images of their new Corvette Convertible, which will be released at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Thursday, 07 February 2013 13:48

Hello Sweetie, I’m Sylphy

Nissan is excellent at one thing - picking ridiculous names for their cars.  I’m no macho man, but I am damned sure you won’t catch me driving a Cedric.  Or for that matter, a Tiida - just what on earth is a Tiida?  But nothing daunted, the Nissan Stupid Names department has now come up with Sylphy!

Thursday, 07 February 2013 13:46

MG to go world-wide for 7-eleven

A few weeks ago I wrote on the alliance being formed by Chinese conglomerate Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and the CP Group (which also owns 7-eleven) to build MG in Thailand.

Thursday, 07 February 2013 13:43

Blowing in the wind?

French car conglomerate PSA Peugeot Citroen is showcasing a set of bold future technologies including a hybrid drivetrain that uses compressed air rather than batteries to store energy and will become production reality in 2016.

Thursday, 07 February 2013 13:43

From the Thai Auto Book

Nissan Thailand will build a new 11 billion baht factory next to the Samut Prakan factory on 150 rai, a move aimed at sustaining Nissan’s growth across Southeast Asia.

The new plant will have an initial production schedule of 75,000 vehicles a year when it starts up in August 2014, doubling to 150,000 within a few years.

Thursday, 07 February 2013 13:42

Natter Nosh and Noggin

The car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park.  The next meeting is on Monday February 11 at Jameson’s at 7 p.m.  A totally informal meeting of like-minded souls to discuss their pet motoring (and motorcycling) loves and hates (plus lies and outright exaggerations).  Come along and meet the guys who have a common interest in cars and bikes, and enjoy the Jameson’s specials, washed down with a few beers.  A couple of the members are scrutineers at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so they may have some scuttlebutt about the F1 scene.  Always a fun night.  Be prepared to laugh a lot at some of the antics of the members (when they were younger)!  The Car Club nights are always on the second Monday of the month (not every second Monday)!

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