The Automotive Focus Group Thailand (AFG) held their February meeting at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, and featured an address by Kevin Gallaghan from Magnate Automotive, builders of what has been dubbed Thailand’s ‘supercar’ by some sections of the media.
The February meeting was also the AGM, and president Mike Diamente (DANA) addressed the members, beginning by reporting how pleased he was to see the membership double during 2009, now being 60 members.
He reported on the survey taken during 2009, with the main needs for the members (at that time) being labor relations, downsizing the correct way and keeping a hold on the cost of logistics.
He also noted that although the AFG is associated with AustCham, there were three months in the year in which there were no Seaboard Sundowners and the AFG was able to arrange and organize its own venues very successfully, including the function rooms at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
One of the new services the AFG had given its members was the AFG directory (organized by Uli Kaiser) which has given the members an e-forum in which the members can update all the others as to the information regarding their business ventures.
Financially the AFG was in very good shape and Mike stated the opinion that for 2010 he is looking forward to the AFG growing in quality and quantity, with a goal to have topics during the year that invoke conversation and learning.
The topic for that evening was the Magnate P708, a concept vehicle which has been made in Chonburi. Kevin Gallaghan, the founder of Magnate Automotive spoke on the trials and tribulations involved in building such a car, and not just Thailand problems.
The concept has been four years in creation, and the build run will be capped at 100 units over four to five years. With a carbon-fiber monocoque manufactured by Cobra International in Chonburi, the mid-engined car currently has a Chevrolet Corvette LS7 V8 mated to a 6 speed transaxle, though the future plans include a V10 Lamborghini power plant.
Kevin Gallaghan shied away from the ‘supercar’ tag, saying that he was more interested in producing a comfortable high performance car, rather than something to challenge names like Koenigsegg or Pagani Zonda, both over USD 1 million. The Magnate P708 he estimated would be sold on the world market at USD 350,000 with the LS 7 engine and USD 500,000 with the Lamborghini engine.
Unfortunately, to receive certification for this car, he is looking at assembly in South Africa, but the major parts would be sourced from Thailand.
Contact with the AFG can be made through the secretary Maurice Bromley, email Maurice.Bromley@go-dove.com.