Japanese suppliers in Thailand (1): new plants and R&D centers
ADVICS, Ichikoh, Sawafuji, JATCO, Shin-Kobe Electric, and Topura setting up their plants
This Report outlines the activities by Japanese suppliers in Thailand, including new plants and R&D centers for approximately one year until mid 2012.
The large scale flood in the autumn of 2011 had disrupted auto production in Thailand for a time, but production is recovering quickly after the flood waters retreated. It was up by 28.5% y/y to 844K units in the January-May period 2012 in Thailand. Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) forecasts an increase in auto production to 2.2 million units, up by 51% y/y through 2012, and refresh the 2010 record of 1.65 million units, according to the announcement in May 2012. Expecting to have a production volume of 2.43 million units in 2014, Thailand attempts to rank among the top ten auto production countries in the world.
Among OEM recent activity, Suzuki and Mitsubishi built new plants in the spring of 2012, and have produced green vehicles under the Thai government's Eco-car project. Honda resumed production at the end of March after it halted operations for six months due to the flood. Toyota is building a second plant building for the Gateway plant, with plans to start operations in mid 2013. Mazda and Ford increased the production capacity of their joint venture plant. Ford built a new passenger car plant at its own cost. The plant has been running since June 2012.
In addition to the expansion of production by OEMs, Japanese suppliers have also been active after the flood since Thailand is a key hub to export parts to neighboring countries. Many suppliers are setting up new plants and R&D centers. While the seven industrial estates located in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani Province, north of Bangkok, were flooded, most of the suppliers planning to build their new plants in Thailand selected Chonburi and Rayong Province, east of Bangkok, for the site of their production.
The upcoming "Japanese suppliers in Thailand (2)" will outline activities to increase production capacities and items at existing plants.
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