Japanese suppliers build new plants and enhance R&D in Thailand

Akebono Brake, H-One, Keihin, JTEKT, TS Tech, Denso, NHK Spring, Yutaka Giken, and Yorozu lead the g

2013/04/18

Summary

 Below is a summary of new production bases being constructed, new development facilities being installed and production capacities being increased by Japanese auto parts manufacturers operating in Thailand (based on information gathered during ten months through mid-March 2013).

Thailand Map Automobile production in Thailand recovered rapidly to a record high level from 1,458,000 units in 2011, the year of devastating floods (down 11.4% from 2010), to 2,454,000 units in 2012 (up 68.4% year on year). The local auto industry registered all-time high records also in domestic sales at 1,415,000 units (up 82.1%) and export at 1,027,000 units (up 39.6%). The industry is also enjoying brisk sales in January to February 2013 at 256,000 units (provisional figures, up 51.9%) partly affected by the lingering increase of demands from the recovery of the damages caused by the floods in the previous year.

 Japanese automakers consider Thailand as an important base. They enhance their production capacities and model lineup there. For instance, Toyota announced plans to increase its capacity from 670,000 units in 2012 to 760,000 units, when production of the Thai version of eco-cars starts at the second Gateway Plant in mid-2013 and further to the 1 million units level in the near future (announced in November 2012). Honda will increase its annual capacity from 240,000 units in 2012 to approximately 290,000 units in FY2013, and build a new plant that will start production in 2015 and turn Thailand into its export base. Nissan has plans to increase its capacity from 220,000 units in 2012 to 370,000 units after its new plant starts operation in 2014 with an initial capacity of 75,000 units and maximum capacity of 150,000 units. Suzuki began production and sales of the Swift in 2012 and plans to launch the Ertiga MPV in 2013. The company will produce and sell 70,000 units of the two models combined.

 These forward-looking plans among Japanese automakers are attracting Japanese auto parts manufacturers to set footprints in Thailand, to increase existing production capacities and to add new items to their production list. New entries in Thailand are found not only among Tier 1 suppliers but also among Tier 2 suppliers that are obliged to find new customers and meet local procurement needs. Plans to increase production capacity and adding products are found especially among those supplying components to local customers and also among those in need to strengthen export bases for markets in Asia and other areas (these companies include Kinugawa Rubber Industrial, Suncall, Nichidai and Keihin).Some companies are planning to build new plants in less flood-vulnerable locations (Kasai Kogyo, TS Tech, Hitachi Chemical, Marujun, etc.), some are building or strengthening R&D facilities (Bridgestone, Piolax, Denso, JATCO, etc.) and some are establishing regional headquarters in Thailand (TS Tech, Sanoh Industrial, Yorozu, etc.).

 Similar moves among Japanese auto parts suppliers in ASEAN countries other than Thailand are introduced in the following report "Japanese auto parts manufacturers in ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc." posted in February 2013.

Related Reports: Japanese suppliers

ASEAN (Mar. 2013), Russia and Eastern Europe (Jan. 2013), India (Nov. 2012),

Mexico and Brazil (Oct. 2012), Central & Southwestern China (Aug. 2012), Southern China (Aug. 2012),

Eastern China (Jul. 2012), Northern and Northeastern China (Jul. 2012), the US (Aug. 2012),



Moves to build new production bases

Asahi Iron Works, Co., Ltd.: First overseas plant starting operation in October 2013

 In January 2012, Asahi Iron Works established a Thai subsidiary (Note: company name unknown at present) in Rayong Province. A new plant for manufacturing MT components was planned for completion in January 2013 to be followed by the installation of aluminum casting, machining and molding facilities. Production of shift forks and other parts is planned to start in October. and delivered to a Toyota-family auto parts manufacturer. The entire plant's investment cost is approximately 1.4 billion yen.

Advics Co., Ltd.: Starting disc brake calipers production in a new plant in July 2013, making additional investment in new facilities for ABS components

 In November 2011, Advics established Advics Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Pinthong Industrial Park in Chonburi Province. The company's first production plant in Thailand will produce disc brake calipers starting in July 2013. Advics will make an additional investment of nearly 1 billion yen in expanding the plant facility for producing ABS according to plans among Toyota and other automakers to discontinue importing vehicles from Japan and start local production in Thailand at the time of model changeover starting in 2014. Advics will also start phased production of brake parts that are currently made for Advics by Aisin Seiki's plant in Thailand. The company will also consider producing brake boosters in Thailand.

Ichikoh Industries, Ltd.: Opening of the new plant celebrated in October 2012 with mass production slated for starting in March 2013

 In October 2012, Ichikoh Industries celebrated the opening of a new plant, with an annexed technical center, established by one of its production subsidiaries, Ichikoh Industries (Thailand) Co., Ltd., located in Amata City Industrial Park in Rayong Province. The largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan, built at the cost of approximately 4 billion yen, will produce head lamps, rear combination lamps and mirrors starting in March 2013. Part of the designing function will be transferred to the technical center, which will engage in product development and design.

Iwai Co., Ltd.: Building a first overseas plant to produce seat structural parts

 Iwai is building a pressed parts plant in the Gateway Industrial Park in Chachoengsao Province which is slated for operation starting in January 2014. The plant will produce the company's main item, seat structural parts, and supply them to meet local procurement needs among Japanese Tier 1 suppliers in Thailand. The company decided to set footprints in Thailand as "no orders would be granted without having a plant outside of Japan" (Mr Iwai, Senior Executive Director, July 2012).

MK Kashiyama Corporation: Operating a brake pad plant since July 2012

 In October 2011, MK Kashiyama Thailand Co., Ltd., was established in Eastern Seaboard Industrial Park in Rayong Province. A disc brake pad plant costing 300 million yen was completed there in June 2012 and production started the following month with a monthly capacity of 50,000 sets. The pads will be supplied to aftermarket facilities, for example auto repair shops, in European and American markets.

Kubota Iron Works Co., Ltd.: Producing transmission parts making its first advance to overseas market

 In 2012, Kubota Iron Works established Kubota Ironworks (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Amata City Industrial Park in Rayong Province marking its first footprints outside of Japan. The company is investing 750 million yen to build a new plant which is slated for operation in October 2013. Initially the plant will produce clutch levers and other manual transmission parts for Nissan's production sites in Indonesia. The plant has an order for 2 million parts a year. The company plans to enhance marketing activities with Mazda and other plants in Thailand and will consider a plant expansion in 2014 if enough order is awarded by then. Thailand is regarded as an export base to other markets in Asia and "auto parts produced in Thailand may well be exported to Japan in the future (Takashi Kubota, President)."

Sawafuji Electric Co., Ltd.: Starting production of low-cost electric devices in 2013 for commercial vehicles for local markets

 Sawafuji Electric plans to start test production in early 2013 at the plant of a joint venture company, Sawafuji Electric (Thailand) Co., Ltd., located in Nonthaburi Province. The plant will produce starters and alternators developed as low cost parts with fewer parts count and reduced manufacturing man-hours for use in Thailand. Mass production is planned to start in April 2013.

Sekisui Plastics Co., Ltd.: A molding plant starting operation in March 2013

 In January 2013, Sekisui Plastics announced that Sekisui Plastics (Thailand) Co., Ltd., was to start production in March 2013 at its plant in Saraburi Industrial Park in Saraburi Province. The plant will produce molded parts made of styrofoam and high-function expanded plastic for supply to auto parts manufacturers. The plant has monthly capacity of 60 tons. The company had the parts produced by other manufacturers but decided to start production of its own to improve quality, performance and accuracy.

Takeda Co., Ltd.: A stamping plant to start operation in August 2013

 In 2012, Takeda established its first overseas base, Takeda Industry (Thailand) Co., Ltd. in Eastern Seaboard Industrial Park in Rayong Province, capitalized at the cost of 520 million yen. The company plans to build a stamping plant in August 2013 to produce engines and underbody components. The parts will be supplied to Japanese auto parts manufacturers intending to increase their local content ratios in Thailand. The plant will have a monthly capacity of approximately 1.6 million parts and will invest 600 million yen. The company aims the sales target of 600 million yen by June 2015.

TAZM Technology Co., Ltd.: Building a truck parts plant to start production in February 2013

 In January 2012, TAZM Technology established Thai TAZM Tech Co., Ltd., in Pinthon Industrial Park in Chonburi Province. The company's first overseas base was built at the cost of 800 million yen in anticipation that a decrease of demand in Japan was unavoidable. Half of the press machines at the new plant were transferred from Japan. The plant is to produce stamped and welded parts for trucks starting in February 2013, which will be sold to truck manufacturers having plants in Thailand.

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Precision Forge, Inc.: Building a joint venture company engaged in cold forging starting in September 2013

 In 2012, Nippon Steel & Sumikin Precision Forge established a cold forging company, Thai Precision Products Co., Ltd., jointly with Kawashimo Kiko and Toyota Tsusho. The new company, capitalized at 600 million yen, will build a plant in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province and start operation in September 2013. The plant will produce cold forged parts associated primarily with steering and seatbelts and the parts will be supplied to Japanese auto parts manufacturers initially in Thailand in need to increase their local content ratios. The company will explore new customers in the ASEAN region other than Thailand as well.

Hygente Technology Co., Ltd.: Operating a metal plating plant

 In 2012, Hygente Technology's Thai subsidiary, Hygente (Thailand) Co., Ltd., began metal plating plant operation in Hemaraj Saraburi Industrial Park in Saraburi Province. The company invested 500 million yen in the plant and has plans to add a second continuous plating line in 2012 and the third in the summer of 2013 as more orders are awarded for plating auto parts (reported in September 2012).

Hiraide Precision Co., Ltd.: Establishing a precision sheet-metal working plant

 In August 2012, Hiraide Precision established its first overseas subsidiary, Hiraide Precision (Thailand) Co., Ltd. The company will set up a precision sheet-metal working plant (rented) in SME Industrial Park in Samut Prakar Province with plans to start operation in December 2012. Many of the company's customers are advancing to Thailand and the plant operation is meant to meet their need for local, lower-cost parts. The plant will meet demand for high-value added parts in small lots ranging from dozens to several hundred pieces. The company also has plans to manufacture and sell scrubbers used for manufacturing precision parts.

FALTEC Co., Ltd.: Establishing own production plant for automobile exterior parts

 FALTEC is building a new plant for automobile exterior parts, in Gateway Industrial Park in Chachoengsao Province with its US partner, FALTEC SRG Global. Prior to the plant construction, the company increased capital in the Thai corporation in 2012 and turned it into a joint venture company under the new corporate name of FALTEC SRG Global (Thailand) Co., Ltd., headquartered in Bangkok. The new capital is approximately 1,684 million yen with SRG having 20% equity. The new plant will start operating in the second half of 2013. FALTEC has auto parts being manufactured by local suppliers and part of the consigned production will be replaced by own production at the new plant. In particular, the company will improve its metal plating quality to win more orders and achieve sales target of 1.5 to 2.0 billion yen from the new plant in 2015.

Moriroku Technology Co., Ltd.: Starting full production at the new plant in 2012

 In November 2012, full production started at the new plant of Moriroku Technology (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Pinthong 1 Industrial Park in Chonburi Province. The plant cost 900 million yen and will produce consoles disposed between the driver's and the front occupant's seats, instrument panel parts, and large-sized exterior components. It has production capacity of parts for 150,000 to 200,000 cars a year. The company is eyeing a second phase for construction to double the capacity with a sales target of 2.5 billion yen after five years.

Yasunaga Corporation: A new company established with plans to start producing engine and other parts in 2014

 In December 2012, Yasunaga established Yasunaga (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Amata City Industrial Park in Rayong Province. The new company is capitalized at approximately 650 million yen and a construction work of a new plant will begin in June to July 2013 with plans to start operation in the summer of 2014. The plant will produce engines, transmissions and other automotive components and machine tools. The company aims sales of 1 billion yen for the year end of December 2015.

 

 



Trends toward establishing or strengthening regional headquarters and development bases

Sanoh Industrial Co., Ltd.: Establishing an Asian regional headquarters company in Thailand

 Sanoh Industrial is establishing regional headquarters in the Americas, Asia and Europe by March 2016 to establish a network of organizations including Japan and China. Thailand has been chosen as the location of the Asian headquarters. The new company will be responsible, in addition to the operational management of the manufacturing subsidiaries in the region, for development and procurement.

JATCO Ltd.: Starting CVT production in September 2013 with technical and skill training facilities affixed to the plant

 JATCO established in early 2013 a transmission engineer and technician training facility on the premises of the plant ground of JATCO (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province which is scheduled for CVT production starting in September 2013. The facility is equipped with machining centers, lathes, other machine tools and heat treating equipment used to teach basic skills from machining to assembling. The company plans to train about 230 engineers and technicians by the end of FY2012 while increasing the plant's production capacity by 40%.

TS Tech Co., Ltd.: Establishing an Asian and European regional headquarters in Thailand

 In January 2013, TS Tech established an Asian and European regional headquarters, TS Tech Asian Co., Ltd., located in Bangkok which is capitalized at 400 million yen. The headquarters will control six consolidated subsidiaries in initiatives aimed at strengthening business and development forces and increasing competitiveness to expand business in the area.

Denso Corporation: Developing more production facilities compliant with Asian standards

 Denso will engage more actively in developing standard production facilities in compliance with Asian specifications at the equipment designing division of Denso (Thailand) Bangpakong plant in Chonburi Province. These facilities are characterized by optimization of automated processes and their ratios in conjunction with the skill of the local workers and their wages. Denso has already developed production facilities for engine starter switch assembly line and radiator fins. The company plans to design a more advanced facility adapted to the local market and management. (reported in November 2012).

Piolax, Inc.: Establishing a new parts development base for Asian cars

 Piolax will establish ASEAN Technology Center, an auto parts development base for Asian cars in FY2013, targeting markets in the ASEAN regions and India. Preparation work will start in early 2013 in Bangkok and other candidate locations toward the start of operation after six months to a year. The development center will specialize in designing, experimenting and other development activities and will also have function to support designing of parts for other regions as well. Piolax also has plans to establish ASEAN regional consolidated headquarters in Thailand for integrated management of business in Thailand, Indonesia and India. The new organization, positioned as the only headquarters after Japan, is to start operation in FY2013 (reported in December 2012).

Bridgestone Corporation: Establishing a new technical center that will take over functions from Japan

 In January 2013, Bridgestone Corporation announced that Bridgestone Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (BSAP) was to establish Bridgestone Asia Pacific Technical Center (tentative name) in the suburbs of Bangkok in March 2013. The Center, costing approximately 3.7 billion yen, is to start operation in July 2013 which will hire hundred employees in 2015. Functions involving tire development, production engineering and quality control for the Asia and Pacific region will be transferred from the technical center in Japan to build a research and development structure that will allow a timely reflection of market information to their products.

Yamashita Rubber Co., Ltd.: Transferring R&D function for anti-vibration rubber to emerging countries

 Yamashita Rubber is relocating its R&D functions for automotive rubber isolators from Japan to overseas. The company is currently searching the best location in emerging markets such as Thailand and Vietnam and the final decision is due in March 2013. "Having basic studies and cutting-edge technologies developed centrally in Japan and ordinary prototyping and development done locally in respective markets will save time as well as cost. Hiring and training capable people locally will help increase the development power for the group as a whole (Osamu Ukai, President, January 2013)."

 

 



Increasing production capacities and reorganizing production structures

Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd.: Increasing brake parts production capacities and installing piston manufacturing lines

 Akebono Brake Industry added a piston manufacturing line in Akebono Brake (Thailand) plant in Chonburi Province in October-December 2012 (pistons are a new product for the company). The company also added an abrasive material line to double the monthly capacity from 200,000 to more than 400,000 pieces. It also increased the caliper production capacity from 70,000-80,000 pieces to 120,000 pieces. Akebono Brake transferred some of the manufacturing facilities from Japan and started in-house production of plating and other surface treatment processes.

H-One Co., Ltd.: Increasing production capacity at Chonburi plant, promoting automation at Ayutthaya plant

 H-One is installing large press machinery in 2013 in H-One Parts Sriracha plant in Chonburi Province. The machinery will be used to make front side members and four other auto body structural parts made of high tensile strength steel ordered by Suzuki Motor for its all-new small-sized cars. The first delivery is scheduled for the spring of 2014. The company is also increasing the capacity of the plant's molding die and welding lines to meet growing demand among Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Isuzu, Hino and other OEMs, and installing a 2500-ton transfer press machine slated for operation in 2015. H-One has already acquired twice as much land in the area adjacent to the existing plant expecting further growth of demand for its products. In addition, the company has plans to introduce a total of 104 robotic machines by 2014 in H-One Parts (Thailand) plant in Ayutthaya Province to manufacture parts for Honda. These automation plans will "help the company prepare itself for the rising labor cost and increasing production quantities (Atsushi Kaneda, president, December 2012)."

Endo Manufacturing Co., Ltd.: A 20% increase in production capacity planned for forged parts

 Endo Manufacturing is investing 760 million yen in Endo Forging (Thailand) plant in Gateway Industrial Park in Chachoengsao Province to increase its forging capacity by 20%. The company has acquired land adjacent to the existing plant and built a new plant with the gross floor area of 7,000 square meters in August 2012. The company is installing three sets of large air forging hammers that will make the plant the largest in Thailand in terms of forging capacity. The plant is scheduled for production starting in early 2013 and the forged parts will be supplied to Japanese auto parts manufacturers in Thailand.

Kasai Kogyo Co., Ltd.: Reorganizing production structure in Thailand for dispersion of risk

 In September 2012, Kasai Kogyo began production of automobile door trim parts at the new plant of Kasai Teck See Co., Ltd., in Pinthong Industrial Park (leased plant) in Chonburi Province. The new plant was built in a less flood-vulnerable area. Production of door parts for Nissan has been transferred to the new plant from the flooded Ayutthaya plant which is now producing sunvisors and is also positioned as the production base for interior parts supplied for Honda plants in the neighboring areas. Part of the sunvisor production that used to be handled exclusively in Ayutthaya will be transferred to a plant in China in May 2013 and production of the interior parts for Nissan will be transferred to another plant in the suburbs of Bangkok to disperse flood risks. In addition, Kasai Kogyo will increase contract production by affiliated manufacturers in Thailand to reduce the in-house production ratio from 80% to 60% in the future.

Kanemitsu Co., Ltd.: Building a second plant to increase production capacity for pulleys and other parts by 50%

 Kanemitsu is building a second plant at Kanemitsu Pulley Co., Ltd., in Rayong Province to increase production capacity of pulleys and other auto parts by 50% to 9 million pieces a year. The plant construction work is to start in March 2013, to start operating by the fall of the same year. The company is investing around 300 million yen and also has plans to strengthen development activities in Thailand.

Kitagawa Iron Works Co., Ltd.: Installing additional machining lines to expand production of cast parts for CVT

 Kitagawa Iron Works is installing additional machining lines to 7 lines in total for cast parts for CVT at Kitagawa (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chonburi Province in 2012. The company will increase production of CVT oil pump covers significantly in 2013 to meet growing demand among Japanese manufacturers of transmissions starting CVT production in Thailand. The plant will start production for local supply in Thailand in addition to exports. "Cast parts for turbochargers in diesel engines account for 80% of our earnings in 2012 but CVT parts will account for 50% and parts for turbochargers will account for 40% after three years (Hiroshi Kitagawa, Vice President, October 2012)."

Keihin Corporation: Building an integrated production line for air conditioning units and introducing a more efficient line in the ECU plant

 Keihin Corporation has built a new plant building in Keihin Thermal Technology (Thailand) Co., Ltd. plant in Ayutthaya Province that engages in the production of heat exchangers and other components used in automotive air conditioning units. The new building contains an assembling line as part of the fully-integrated production line that will start operation in the spring of 2013. The assembly operation will be relocated from Keihin Auto Parts (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Ayutthaya Province to reduce distribution expenses and eliminate waste in the production process to secure profits from the low-priced, small-sized cars for Asian markets. The company also plans to leverage on the sales network for heat exchange business by Keihin Thermal Technology acquired from Showa Denko K.K., and expand sales to OEMs other than Honda. Keihin has also introduced a new rationalized line for ECUs in engines for four-wheeled vehicles in the ECU/EMS plant of Keihin Auto Parts (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Ayutthaya Province to resume ECU production in Thailand. These efforts are part of Keihin's centralized production plan for ECUs to be used in Honda's next models designed for global marketing starting in 2013. The ECUs will be supplied to Japan, Asia and Mexico (Reported in February 2013).

Thermosetter Co., Ltd.: Increasing production capacity for automotive plastic parts

 Thermosetter is increasing production of thermosetting plastic parts in January 2013 at Thermosetter (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Ayutthaya Province to fill orders for air conditioning and engine parts awarded by Japanese auto parts manufacturers in Thailand. The company will add an injection molding machine and two heat treating furnaces and increase monthly production by 43% to 1 million pieces (Reported in September 2012).

Suncall Corporation: Increasing production capacity for valve springs by 70%

 Suncall will increase the production quantity of valve springs for engines at Suncall High Precision (Thailand) Co., Ltd. plant in Chonburi Province by 70% to 1.2 million pieces a month in three years. The company has plans to export products from Thailand to India in the future (Reported in July 2012).

JTEKT Corporation: Starting constant-velocity joint production and adding high-function bearing production line

 JTEKT is building a new block at a plant of JTEKT (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chachoengsao Province and start a streamlined production and assembly of constant-velocity joints in 2013. The new plant costs about 3 billion yen with an initial monthly capacity of 40,000 pieces (for 20,000 vehicles). The company plans to add a line in 2013 and add more to up to four lines in medium- to long-range plans. In light of the increasing trends toward local procurement among OEMs, JTEKT plans to increase the number of TRB (high function tapered roller bearing) production line from a dozen to more than 30 in the earliest possible timing. The company also plans to build a forging plant in the existing premises in the future to start in-house production and increase productivity.

G-TEKT Co., Ltd.: Building a second plant to meet growing demands

 In January 2012, G-TEKT announced the construction of a second plant at G-TEKT Eastern Co., Ltd., in Eastern Seaboard Industrial Park in Rayong Province for manufacturing and sales of auto body structural components. The company is investing approximately 4 billion yen in large transfer press machinery. "Our main customer, Honda, is increasing its local production in Thailand and we also may see an increase in our sales to other customers as well. We need to stand ready for the increased demands (comments by Toshitsugu Kikuchi, President, March 2013)."

Central Motor Wheel Co., Ltd.: Increasing production capacity for steel wheels

 Central Motor Wheel is increasing the annual capacity for steel wheels at Central Motor Wheel (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chachoengsao Province by 20% to 6 million units by the end of 2013. This is being achieved by process rationalization and robotic automation to meet an increasing demand among Toyota and other Japanese automakers in Thailand.

TS Tech Co., Ltd.: New plant to start operation in September 2013 with facilities transferred from an existing plant

 TS Tech is building Hemaraj Plant at TS Tech (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Saraburi Province to avoid the risk of floods through the future. The necessary facilities will be brought from the existing plant in Ayutthaya in April to May 2013. The latest technologies will be introduced to increase the efficiency, reduce environmental burden and further improve the level of quality assurance. The new plant, costing approximately 2 billion yen, is scheduled for start of operation in September with an annual capacity of 300,000 seats. Warehouses will be centralized in Ayutthaya plant. The company has plans to "build a new plant in the southern part of Thailand with an initial quantity of 200,000 seats in 2-shift operation (Toshio Komeji, President, January 2013)."

TBK Co, Ltd.: Increasing production capacity for parts for commercial vehicles eyeing export as well

 TBK is increasing production capacity at TBKK (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chonburi Province. The company is investing 800 million yen in FY2012 in increasing the capacity primarily for water/oil pumps for 1-ton pickup trucks and considering the possibility of increase in product export in the future.

Tohken Thermo Tech Co., Ltd. Expanding existing plant to increase heat treating capacity

 Tohken Thermo Tech has expanded the third plant in 2012 at Thai Tohken Thermo Co., Ltd., in Chonburi Province and increased its heat treatment capacity. A new fourth plant building is also scheduled for start of operation in January 2013. These enhancements are aimed at meeting the growing demand for heat treatment of automotive parts in Thailand. The company is investing more than 1 billion yen for the project. ( Reported in October 2012).

NHK Spring Co., Ltd.: Planning a 50% increase in production capacity for springs, establishing a joint-venture company with Antolin and transferring head-liner business

 NHK Spring is increasing production capacity for suspension springs by 50% compared with the previous year at NHK Spring (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Samutprakarn Province in 2013. The company transferred the latest hot production line from a plant in Japan in the fall of 2012 and has started a three-line operation in 2013 with a monthly capacity of 200,000 to 250,000 pieces.
 NHK Spring (Thailand) was producing head-liners for automobiles under the licensing by Grupo Antolin, an interior parts manufacturer in Spain. In October 2012, the two companies formed a joint-venture company, NHK Antolin Thailand Co., Ltd., in Samutprakarn Province and the head-liner business in Thailand was transferred to the new JV company. Production will continue at the existing plant and products are supplied locally to Japanese and American OEMs in Thailand.

Nisshinbo Brake Inc.: Building a second plant to increase production capacities for drum brakes and other components

 Nisshinbo Brake is building a second plant adjacent to the first plant at Nisshinbo Somboon Automotive Co., Ltd., in Eastern Seaboard Industrial Park in Rayong Province to meet the growing demand for pickup trucks. The new plant is scheduled for operation starting in January 2014 specializing in foundation brakes such as disc brake calipers and drum brakes. The first plant will specialize in lining, pads and other friction materials. The second plant will focus on manufacturing foundation brakes including disk brake calipers. "We will allocate workers from the first to the second plant without hiring new ones. We will achieve the same level of automation as in Japan and improve staff's abilities (Koji Nishihara, president, February 2013)."

Nippon Piston Ring Co., Ltd.: Increasing production capacity for valve seats

 Nippon Piston Ring plans to invest approximately 3 billion yen by FY2014 to increase production capacity for valve seats for ethanol-fuel engines at all global production sites. The company aims to increase the capacity by 1.5 times from 2012 and by 1.9 times in Thailand and India's capacity combined for FY2014. The company will increase monthly capacity from 5 to 6 million units at Siam NPR in Saraburi Province initially by the end of FY2012 with plans to start full-capacity operation after FY2013.

Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.: Building a second plant for making automotive friction materials

 In May 2012, Hitachi Chemical announced the construction of a second plant for making automotive friction materials at its Thai subsidiary (head office located in Ayutthaya), Japan Brake (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Gateway Industrial Park in Chachoengsao Province. The new plant, being built to meet the growing demand among Thai automotive industries and scheduled for operation starting in February 2013, will produce disc brake pads, brake assemblies and shoe assemblies. The company chose the location outside Ayutthaya where the first plant is located to ensure stable supply by dispersion of production sites.

Hitachi Cable, Ltd.: Doubling production capacity for EPS torque sensors

 In October 2012, Hitachi Cable announced the decision to increase production capacity for EPS (electric power steering) torque sensors at AHCL (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province. The new line will start operation in the spring of 2013 and its capacity will be nearly doubled compared to FY2011 by FY2014.

Press Kogyo Co., Ltd.: Preparing to increase production capacity of light-duty truck parts

 Press Kogyo is increasing production capacity for parts for light-duty trucks starting in FY2012 and improve the productivity by further rationalization of the three production sites in response to the plans of increasing production among Japanese automakers in Thailand. The company is also building a new plant in Indonesia to produce outer panels and other pressed parts starting in 2014. The company plans to mutual supply system between the two countries.

Marujun Co., Ltd.: Building a new plant for auto body parts starting production in 2014

 Marujun started construction work of a new auto body parts plant in 2012 at Thai Marujun Co., Ltd., in Nong-Kae Industrial Park in Saraburi Province (the existing plant is located in Ayutthaya). The plant is to be completed in December 2013 and start production in 2014. The new plant, costing approximately 3 billion yen, is located in an area less vulnerable to flood, to ensure uninterrupted supply of parts. The existing plant in Ayutthaya will mainly produce metal molds.

Mitsuchi Corporation: Building a second plant in a neighboring province to reduce the risk of flood damage

 Mitsuchi's bolt and nut manufacturing plant at Thai Mitchi Co., Ltd., in Pathumthanis Province was fully restored to its pre-flood state in April 2012. To meet growing demands and reduce the risk of flood damages in the future, the company decided to build a second plant in the Hemaraj Saraburi Industrial Park in Saraburi Province adjacent to Pathumthanis Province. The new plant is slated for completion by June 2014. Details including the scale of production and start of operation have not been decided but part of production in Japan will be transferred to the new plant.

Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., Ltd.: Expanding the second plant by 50% and reviewing production structure based on flood damage

 Musashi Seimitsu Industry is re-examining its production structure at Musashi Auto Parts Co., Ltd., in Pathumthanis Province based on the flood damage in 2011. As a result, the company is moving production of engine and other parts to the second plant at the 304 Industrial Park in Prachinburi Province in the eastern part of Bangkok by the end of 2012. The flooded first plant located in Navanakorn Industrial Park in Pathumthanis Province will specialize in production of manufacturing equipment and metal molds and light assembling operation. The second plant will be expanded by 50% to receive manufacturing equipment being relocated from the first plant. Production capacity of parts for four-wheeled vehicles will be increased by 10 to 20% as a result.

Yutaka Giken Co., Ltd.: Increasing production capacity for exhaust system parts

 Yutaka Giken is expanding its plant at YS Tech (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Prachinburi Province and increasing the annual production capacity for exhaust catalyst converters, silencers and other exhaust system parts from 240,000 units in 2012 to 300,000 units in 2014. The plant is also producing AT torque converter parts with annual capacity of 400,000 units. In anticipation of increased demand in the future, the company plans to build a new plant in the 304 Industrial Park near Chachoengsao Province. The new plant will produce the same items as in the existing plant such as silencers for the exhaust systems and torque converters for CVT and other parts for the driveline. The silencer production will start with an initial capacity of 60,000 units a year. Capacities will be increased in phases in 2 to 3 years until all production operation is consolidated in the new plant.

Yorozu Corporation: A second production site to start operation in June 2013; President of Thai subsidiary to optimize plant operation in Asia

 Yorozu is pursuing optimization of plant operation in Asia through mutual supply system for production and procurement involving seven sites in four countries including Thailand, China, Indonesia and India. One of the seven sites is the company's second production base in Thailand, Y-Ogura Automotive (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Rayong Province scheduled for start of operation in June 2013. The president of the company's Thai subsidiary will lead the plant optimization initiatives in Asia.

 

 



Moves to increase production items

Aisin AI Co., Ltd.: Starting production of cold forged parts for manual transmissions

 Aisin AI will start operation of the third plant at Aisin AI (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chachoengsao Province in the spring of 2013. The plant will produce cold forged MT parts such as sleeves, currently imported from Japan, and increase their cost competitiveness in Thailand. The company has plans to utilize the third plant to increase production capacity for MTs and transfers for four-wheeled vehicles that are currently produced at existing plants. The new plant construction is expected to cost approximately 1 billion yen.

Aisin Chemical Co., Ltd.: Expanding existing plants to start production of chemicals

 In December 2012, Aisin Chemical announced plans to build a new facility on the premises of the disc brake pad plant of Aisin Chemical (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Rayong Province and start production of chemicals in September 2013. The chemicals will be auto body sealers and undercoats that are currently imported from Japan. The new facility, costing approximately 700 million yen, is being built to meet local procurement needs among Toyota and other customers. The company also plans to double annual production capacity for brake pads to 1 million pieces by 2018 with a future plan to supply brake pads and chemicals to Indonesia and other areas.

Aisin Takaoka Co., Ltd.: Building a new casting line in the existing plant in Saraburi Province

 Aisin Takaoka is building a new casting line, with an annual capacity of 24,000 tons, in the AT-A (SRB) plant in Saraburi Province. The plant is operated by Aisin Takaoka Asia Co., Ltd. (AT-A, head office in Chonburi Province) and is scheduled to start production in 2013. The new facility, costing approximately 2 billion yen, will increase AT-A's annual capacity in Thailand to about 230,000 tons.

Ishikawa Gasket Co., Ltd.: Starting gasket production in mixed production format in an existing plant

 Ishikawa Gasket will start production of cylinder head gaskets of higher sealing performance in the spring of 2013 at a local joint venture company, Cherry Serina Co. Ltd., in Chonburi Province. The existing line is being modified for mixed production of new and existing products to respond to orders from Japanese automakers. However, the plant is already in near-full capacity operation and the company will consider adding a new line as more orders for new products are received in the future. "We will also consider designing and developing locally to maintain closer contact with the automakers (Shinichiro Ishikawa, President, February 2013)."

Exedy Corporation: Producing torque converters starting in 2013

 "Exedy will start production of torque converters and clutch packs for CVTs in December 2013 when the fourth and the fifth plants become operational at Exedy (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chonburi Province." (Haruo Shimizu, President, July 2012)

F.C.C. Co., Ltd.: Building a new plant for lock-up clutches for torque converters

 F.C.C. has built a new plant building for clutches for four-wheeled vehicles on the premises of the second plant in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province operated by F.C.C (Thailand) Co., Ltd. A production line has been brought from Japan to the new facility to start production of lock-up clutches for torque converters in February 2013. Products will be delivered to Thai plants of Japanese torque converter manufacturers. The lock-up clutches will be used primarily for automatic transmissions and also with CVTs. The new facility cost 400 million yen and has an annual capacity of 528,000 units.

CASTEM Co., Ltd.: Expanding existing plant to start production of exhaust system parts

 CASTEM will make a full entry into auto industry by starting precision lost-wax casting of exhaust system parts at CASTEM Siam Co., Ltd., in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province. Toward this goal, the company is expanding an existing plant and installing lost-wax molding machines and coating machines to build a production line by December 2013. The facility, costing over 200 million yen, will have a monthly capacity of 50,000 parts. The company aims sales of 400 million yen in the first year and 800 million yen in the second year.

Kinugawa Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd.: Expanding sales of automotive hose parts

 Kinugawa Rubber Industrial is increasing production of automotive hoses in its overseas plants in the second half of FY2013. As an initial step, the company will expand sales of hose parts in Thailand using the available capacity at existing plants. Hoses used to be produced in Japan and China but the company has decided to add Thailand to meet needs among automakers engaged in global operation. The company has two subsidiaries in Thailand, CPR Gomu Industrial Public Co., Ltd., specializing in vibration insulators and Kinugawa (Thailand) Co., Ltd., specializing in auto body seals, both located in Ayutthaya Province.

KYB Co., Ltd.: Starting production at the CVT pump plant in September 2013

 The new CVT pump plant of KYB (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province is to be completed in February 2013 and scheduled for start of operation in September 2013 with a monthly capacity of 50,000 units. All quantities will be delivered to JATCO. Nearly 60% of the parts, other than precision parts that require special technology, will be procured locally from Japanese and other suppliers.

Sanden Corporation: Starting production of car air conditioning compressors

 Sanden has added a compressor production line at Sanden (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya Province engaged in the production of car air conditioning units and heat exchangers. Production at the new line that cost 2.2 billion yen began in November 2012. Until then, compressors were imported from Japan. The company also built a die-casting plant in the same premises, costing 1.4 billion yen, and production of compressors began in December of the same year. The annual capacity is to be increased to 500,000 units in 2015. The company plans to accelerate local production of key parts with plans of supply expansion to Southeast Asian region.

Shiroki Corporation: Planning local procurement of seat core parts in Thailand or Indonesia

 Shiroki Corporation will start overseas procurement of seat recliners and lifters in 2014. Parts to be assembled in Asia will be procured in Thailand or from a plant in Indonesia scheduled for operation in 2013 (Reported in October 2012).

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.: Building a new plant for manufacturing automotive aluminum wiring

 In March 2013, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Sumitomo Wiring Systems announced that a plant for manufacturing automotive aluminum wiring was to be built on the ground of SEI Thai Electric Conductor Co., Ltd., in Rayong Province. Increased demand is projected in Southeast Asia and China and the company decided to build the first overseas manufacturing base for aluminum wiring in Thailand. Volume production is scheduled to start in September 2014 for global supply to group companies in Asia. An initial capacity is set to about 100 tons a month.

Pacific Industrial Co., Ltd.: Increasing production capacity for tire valves and building a second plant to start resin parts business

 Pacific Industrial is building a second plant in May 2013 on the ground of Pacific Industries (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Chachoengsao Province. A streamlined production line for tubeless tire valves will be installed to double the Thai company's annual capacity to 4 million pieces. Delivery will start in September 2013. The company also plans to start automotive resin parts business and also begin centralized production of wheel caps and tire center ornaments at the same plant. Delivery will start in December 2013 primarily to Japanese automakers. The company will invest approximately 700 million yen in total to enhance its production.

Tsuda Industries Co., Ltd.: Building a second plant for forged and machined parts

 Tsuda Industries is building a second plant in the shift lever plant of M&T Allied Technologies Co., Ltd., in Rayong Province. Production of forged and machined parts for transfers and other drive components is to begin at the plant in the spring of 2013. The company is investing 2 million yen in the new plant aimed at meeting local procurement needs among Toyota and other automakers (Reported in July 2012).

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd.: Building a new plant for producing constant-velocity joint boots made of high-function plastics

 In January 2013, Toyo Tire & Rubber announced its plan to start manufacturing and supply of constant-velocity joint boots made of high-function plastics at Toyo Rubber Chemical Products (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Ayutthaya Province. The company is building a rental plant in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province. Production will start in April 2014. The company will increase the capital of the Thai company by approximately 300 million yen before the plant starts production. The company is projecting sales of 400 million yen in April-December 2014. The company also plans to start sale of automotive vibration insulators in 2013.

Nichidai Co., Ltd.: Producing precision forging dies supplied to Thailand and neighboring countries

 In February 2013, Nichidai announced its plan to start production of precision forging dies at Nichidai (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi Province starting in October 2013. The plan was made to meet the growing demand for local procurement of precision forging dies in Thailand and neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. The company is investing 114 million yen in the initial year with projected sales of 50 million yen in FY2013 and 170 million yen in FY2014.

NDK, Incorporated: Starting metal heat treatment business

 NDK plans to install induction hardening equipment and analytical instruments at Siam NDK Co., Ltd., in Chonburi Province, currently specializing in machining operation, and start metal heat treatment business in March 2013. This is to respond to an order for hardening process awarded by several Japanese auto parts manufacturers operating in Thailand. The plant will start processing engine parts for motorcycles and eventually expand to engine parts for four-wheeled vehicles. The company is also considering installing equipment for ion nitriding that has been the company's core technology. (Reported on March 2013).

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