Japanese suppliers in Thailand continue to expand production and R&D capacities

Activities of H-One, Calsonic Kansei, GS Yuasa, JTEKT, Taiho Kogyo, Teijin, and others



Thailand Map This report summarizes activities of Japanese parts suppliers in Thailand in the eleven months to early August 2014, including establishment of new plants and enhancement of production capacities as well as augmentation of development offices and expansion of production items.

 In the January to June 2014 period, automobile production in Thailand decreased by 29.0% year-over-year (y/y) to 953,000 units, marking a continuous decline since the latter half of 2013. This is mainly because the domestic sales volume plunged by 40.5% to 441,000 units in this period under economic slowdown and political turmoil in Thailand. The export, on the other hand, showed a relatively solid growth of 3.6% y/y to 560,000 units.

 Under this environment, Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced to revise their 2014 sales targets in Thailand downward. Honda may also postpone the start of operations at a new plant from 2015 to a later year. In the medium term, however, Japanese OEMs, including Toyota, have not made any significant changes to their plans to enhance production capacities. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. started operations at its new plant in July 2014 and plans to minimize the influence of declining sales in Thailand by increasing exports.

 Following these movements of OEMs, Japanese parts suppliers have been particularly active in enhancing their production capacities. These enhancements have been made not only to support their existing customers but also to meet orders from new customers. Other activities include conversion of a local plant to a wholly owned subsidiary, acquisition of a local company, establishment of a regional headquarters, and reinforcement of development functions in Thailand. Movement to construct new plants has also continued, although not as active as before.

Activities of Japanese suppliers in Thailand

New entries  Asteer (stamped metal parts for pickups), Jatco (CVTs), Teijin (tire cords), Topre (frame components), Toyoda Iron Works (frame components), Taiyo Stainless Spring (spacer and other parts), Fukui Byora (headed parts)
Enhancement of production capacities Construction of new plants and buildings:
 H-One (stamping plant), Kanemitsu (second pulley plant), Taiho Kogyo (vacuum pump plant), Tsubakimoto Chain (fourth building), Nisshinbo Brake (commercial vehicle brake plant), Nitto Seiko (third spring plant), Piolax (new building for plastic fastening components), Fine Sinter (new plant for powder metal products), Molten (third plastic parts plant), Murakami Corporation (new building for door mirrors)
Expansion of facilities:
 Teijin (hose cords), Yorozu (die production), Aichi Steel (forgings), Calsonic Kansei (heat exchangers), Kitagawa Iron Works (casting parts), Nittan Valve (automotive valves), Nidec Tosok (control valves)
Postponing capacity enhancement:
 Sumitomo Rubber Industries (production increase of radial tires for passenger cars), Yutaka Giken (start of operations at the second plant for torque converters)
Expansion of production items  JVC Kenwood (in-vehicle cameras), JTEKT (power steering components), Nippon Molymer (precision parts), Press Kogyo (rear axle cases for heavy-duty trucks and 1-ton pickups), Univance (transfer units)
Reinforcement and restructuring of businesses  Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (management integration of two subsidiaries), Tanaka Seimitsu Kogyo (regional headquarters), Tachi-S (conversion to a wholly owned subsidiary), Calsonic Kansei (conversion to a consolidated subsidiary), Nippon Molymer (acquisition), Yamashita Rubber (production transfer from Japan)
Development and technical centers, etc. New establishment:
 Asteer (design and development functions for metal parts), GS Yuasa (development and survey company for lead-acid batteries),
Expansion and reinforcement:
 Polyplastics (new technical center), The Yokohama Rubber (expansion of the tire performance test course and establishment of a development center)

Sources: Press releases by each company

 For activities of Japanese suppliers in ASEAN countries other than Thailand, please refer to "Japanese suppliers in Indonesia" and "Japanese suppliers in Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, and Myanmar" posted on June 2014.

Japanese suppliers Related Reports:
* Indonesia (Jun. 2014), Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, and Myanmar (Jun. 2014), Europe (Jul. 2014), the U.S. (Apr. 2014)
* China (Part 2): Northern, Northeastern & Southern regions (Mar. 2014),
  China (Part 1): Eastern and Central China (Mar. 2014)
* Latin America (Part 2) (Mar. 2014), Latin America(Part 1) (Mar. 2014),
* Thailand (Part 1) (Jan. 2014), Thailand (Part 2) (Jan.2014), ASEAN (Nov. 2013)
* Europe (Oct. 2013), India (Sep. 2013)

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