Thailand to achieve record high vehicle production of 2.3 million units in 2012
Toyota, Nissan, and Isuzu to increase capacity to 760K, 420K, and 400K units respectively
2012 vehicle production in Thailand is expected to largely exceed two million units, the forecast at the beginning of the year, to total 2.3 million units, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) forecast as of October 2012. Production has recovered because the Thai auto industry has rebounded from impacts of the Great East Japan Earthquake as well as the flooding in Thailand last year and the Eco-Car projects have made progress. In January-September 2012, production grew 32.8% y/y to 1.706 million units and CBU exports increased 15% y/y to 735,000 units. Even after the flooding, Thailand has become increasingly important as a vehicle production and export base.
New vehicle sales in January-September 2012 sharply increased 71.3% y/y to 1.001 million units, already exceeding the initial target of one million units. Contributing factors to this success should include demands put off by the severe flooding, the Thai Government's Eco-Car program and the tax refund scheme for first-time car buyers.
For the Eco-Car scheme that the Thai government has been promoting, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki followed Nissan and started production and sales. Mitsubishi and Suzuki built new plants to manufacture Eco-Cars locally and commenced operations in March 2012. Toyota is constructing a new plant as well in order to start producing and selling Eco-Cars from mid 2013.
Concerning production capacity expansion in Thailand, Toyota plans to boost its annual capacity from 670,000 to 760,000 units in mid 2013. Nissan plans to start up a new 200,000-units/year plant in 2014, which should raise its total capacity to 420,000 units a year. Isuzu will construct a new pickup truck plant in an aim to manufacture 400,000 units/year, including 100,000 KD sets, in the future.
As for medium to heavy-duty CV manufacturers, Hino plans to increase its vehicle production capacity by 2.5 times to 33,000 units in FY2015. Volvo Group will invest two billion baht through 2014 to raise its annual production capacity of heavy-duty trucks and buses.