Thailand: production expected to fall by 11% to 2.2 million units in 2014

Domestic demand shrinks due to end of incentives and political turmoil

2014/10/06

Summary

Automobile  production, exports ,and domestic sales for Thailand
Political stability restored after military coup

 Following the military coup on May 22, 2014, an interim military government was established in Thailand. As the rulers outlined plans for holding elections to set up a civilian government in the fall of 2015, political stability has been restored in the country for the time being. It is also considered that an economic recession may be averted.

2014 outlook for production and domestic sales to drop; exports projected to increase

 According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the 2014 outlook for auto production will be 2.2 million units, which will be a 10.5% decline year-on-year (y/y). Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) projects that sales in Thailand will plunge by 30.9% y/y to 920,000 units due to the market balancing after the end of the Thai government's "first car purchase scheme" along with the shrinking demand because of the political unrest. On the other hand, exports are expected to grow by 6.4% y/y.

 According to LMC Automotive's forecast in the second quarter of 2014, Thai light vehicle sales (excluding medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles) in 2014 will fall to 940,000 units, which will be a 27.0% decrease y/y. Sales will recover gradually from 2015, and are estimated to reach 1.24 million units in 2017.

Ten OEMs apply for second phase of eco-car project

 Application for the second phase of the eco-car project was closed at the end of March 2014. A total of ten OEMs have applied; in addition to the five Japanese OEMs, which have participated in the first phase of the project, five new automakers applied. With the eco-car project, the Thai government intends to achieve its target of producing 3 million vehicles per year by 2017.

Some OEMs expand their production capacities and R&D functions; others rethink investments

 Since Thailand is considered to be an important production and export hub in the medium and long term, some OEMs continue to expand their production capacities in the country. Nissan started operations at its new 150,000-unit plant in July 2014. SAIC Motor-CP, which is a Chinese-Thai joint venture, opened a new 50,000-unit plant in June. VW reportedly plans to build a new plant to produce eco-cars by 2019. Mitsubishi Motors and Isuzu enhanced their development units in Thailand. On the other hand, due to the slow demand, it is assumed that Honda will postpone the start-up of a new plant, which was slated to come online in 2015.


Related report
Japanese suppliers in Thailand continue to expand production and R&D capacities (Sep. 2014)



Production of compact cars plunges for January to July 2014

 Thai vehicle production for the period of January to July 2014 fell by 24.9% y/y to 1.1 million units. Sales in Thailand declined to 510,000 units, which was a 39.2% drop y/y, due to the market balancing after the end of the first car purchase scheme. On the other hand, exports from Thailand increased by 4.3% y/y to 650,000 units, showing a relatively strong growth. The proportion of exports to total production expanded to 59.1%. As political stability is expected to be restored in 2015, sales in Thailand are forecasted to increase. Nevertheless, it will be hard to see a strong recovery because the first car purchase scheme has eaten into future demands.

 Regarding production by vehicle type, production of eco-cars rose by 46.4% y/y in 2013. As first-time eco-car buyers were eligible for the first car purchase scheme, delivery of these vehicles bought under the scheme continued, which boosted their production. For the period of January to July 2014, production decreased for all vehicle types. Especially, a decline for the compact cars was prominent; production of eco-cars and passenger cars with a displacement of 1,500cc or smaller fell by 35 to 38% y/y. Output of one-ton pickup trucks also dropped by 22.0% y/y while its proportion to the total production expanded to 53.3% (48.9% for the period of January to July 2013).

 Vehicles that are produced in Thailand are exported mainly to the Middle East, Asia (including Japan), and Oceania. For the period of January to July 2014, exports to these three regions accounted for 72% of the total. After delivery under the first car purchase scheme ended in mid-2013, vehicles available for export increased. Many OEMs have been working hard to expand exports to complement the shrinking domestic demand. Some of them are trying to diversify their destinations of exports to countries such as Europe.

 

Automobile production by vehicle type in Thailand Exports from Thailand by destination

 

Automobile production, exports, and domestic sales for Thailand

(Units)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
(Outlook)
Jan.-Jul.
2013
Jan.-Jul.
2014
Production 1,645,304 1,457,795 2,453,717 2,457,057 2,200,000 1,542,411 1,103,444
Exports 895,855 735,627 1,026,671 1,128,152 1,200,000 624,873 651,832
Domestic sales 800,357 794,081 1,436,335 1,330,678 920,000 839,051 510,438
(Exports/production) 54.4% 50.5% 41.8% 45.9% 40.5% 59.1%
Source: The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) for production and exports;
Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) for domestic sales (retail sales)
(Note) 1. Domestic sales include imports.
2. 2014 (Outlook) shows FTI's forecasts for production and exports that was announced in August 2014 and TMT's forecast for domestic sales that was disclosed in July 2014.

 

 



Thai government to start second phase of eco-car project; excise taxes to be revised in 2016

 The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) closed the application for the second phase of the eco-car project at the end of March 2014. Compared to the first phase, BOI requires more stringent conditions regarding fuel efficiency and emissions and raises a minimum amount of investment, while it lowers excise tax rates for eco-cars to 14% (30% for ordinary compact cars).

 Ten OEMs reportedly applied for the second phase of the project; in addition to the five Japanese automakers, which have participated in the first phase, Mazda, GM, Ford, VW, and SAIC Motor-CP submitted applications. According to the BOI, the ten companies intend to invest a total of THB 138.9 billion to produce 1.58 million units of eco-cars per year. However, with surplus production capacities and the stagnant market in Thailand, it is hard to say how many OEMs will manage to put the project into execution.

 Furthermore, the Thai government plans to enforce the new auto excise tax scheme starting in January 2016. Excise taxes will be levied according to the quantity of CO2 emissions instead of the engine displacement. Under the new system, tax rates will be lowered for eco-cars, hybrid vehicles, and E85 compatible cars.

Eco-car project: requirements for first phase and second phase

First phase Second phase
Requirement
for application
Application and production  Application deadline: end of November 2007
 Production: currently ongoing
 Application deadline: end of March 2014
 Production: required to start by the end of 2019
Investment  No less than THB 5 billion  No less than THB 6.5 billion (no less than THB 5 billion for the five OEMs that have joined the first phase)
Production volume  100,000 units a year within five years of production  100,000 units a year from the fourth year onward
Eco-car standards Engine displacement  Petrol: ≦1,300 cc
 Diesel: ≦1,400 cc
 Petrol: ≦1,300 cc
 Diesel: ≦1,500 cc
Emission standard  Must meet Euro 4  Must meet Euro 5
CO2 emissions/
fuel efficiency
 CO2 emissions: ≦120 g/km
 Fuel efficiency: ≧20 km/L
 CO2 emissions: ≦100 g/km
 Fuel efficiency: ≧23.3 km/L
Incentives Incentives for OEMs  Corporate income tax exemption for eight years  Corporate income tax exemption for six years
Import duties exemption for equipment and machines
Eco-car excise tax  17% (30% for ordinary compact cars)  14% (plan)
Production of eco-cars for first phase
 Five Japanese OEMs have joined the first phase of the eco-car project and launched nine models by May 2014. Nissan released the March in March 2010 and the Almera in October 2011. Honda launched the Brio in April 2011 and the Brio Amaze in November 2012. Suzuki introduced the Swift in March 2012 and the Celerio in May 2014. Mitsubishi launched the Mirage in March 2012 and the Attrage in July 2013. Toyota released the Yaris in October 2013. The five automakers produced a total of 890,000 units by July 2014.

 

Thai government to enforce auto excise tax scheme based on CO2 emissions in 2016

 The Thai government plans to enforce the new auto excise tax scheme, which will be based on the quantity of CO2 emissions, in January 2016. The current scheme levies excise taxes according to the engine displacement. Under the new scheme, tax rates for eco-cars, hybrid vehicles, and E85 compatible cars will be lowered. In 2015, it is expected that many customers will rush to buy vehicles that will be subject to the raised excise tax rates of the new scheme.

 

 



Nissan and SAIC Motor-CP start operations at new plants; VW plans for new plant

 Regarding activities to build new production facilities in Thailand, Nissan started operations at its second plant with an annual production capacity of 150,000 units in July 2014. The joint venture between SAIC Motor and CP Group, which is a Thai company, began production at its new plant with an annual capacity of 50,000 units in June. VW reportedly has a plan to build a new plant to produce eco-cars.

 On the other hand, Honda decided to put off the start-up of a new plant for six months to one year due to the worsening market conditions. The automaker has been building its third plant in Thailand, which was originally scheduled to come online in 2015.

Major OEMs' production facilities in Thailand

Plant Annual production capacity
(1,000 units)
Production volume
(1,000 units)
(2013)
Models being produced
Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) Samrong 230 860 Toyota Hilux Vigo
Ban Pho 220 Toyota Hilux Vigo, Fortuner
Gateway 1 220 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Prius, Vios, Corolla, Wish, eco-car (Yaris)
Gateway 2 80
Toyota Auto Works Samutprakarn 20 Toyota Hiace
Hino Motors Mfg. (Thailand) Bang Pakong 10 (One shift/ regular working hours) 22 Hino trucks & buses
Nissan Motor (Thailand) Samutprakarn 1 220 240 Nissan Navara, Teana, Sylphy, Pulsar, eco-car (March, Almera/Latio)
Samutprakarn 2 150 (Operations started in July 2014) NP300 Navara
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Ayutthaya 1 150 273 Honda City, Jazz (Fit), Jazz HV, eco-cars (Brio, Brio Amaze)
Ayutthaya 2 150 Civic, Civic HV, Accord, Accord HV, CR-V
Prachinburi 0→120 (2015) - (Operations were scheduled to start in 2015→Start-up to be put off for six months to a year)
Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Laemchabang 1 90 204 Mitsubishi Triton, Lancer EX, Pajero Sport, Nissan Navara (outsourced production)
Laemchabang 2 220 Triton, Pajero Sport
Laemchabang 3 200 154 Eco-cars (Mirage, Attrage)
Isuzu Motors Company (Thailand) Samrong 260 288 Isuzu D-Max, mu-X, light-/medium-duty trucks
Gateway 1 140 Commercial vehicles
Gateway 2 Isuzu D-Max
Suzuki Motor (Thailand) Rayong 100 53 Eco-cars (Swift, Celerio [ May 2014- ])
AutoAlliance (Thailand) Rayong Pickup trucks: 140,
CKD kits: 55
85 Ford Ranger, Everest, Mazda BT-50
Passenger cars: 100 71 Mazda2, Mazda3, Ford Fiesta
Ford Thailand Manufacturing Rayong 150 32 Ford Focus, EcoSport (starting in January 2014)
General Motors (Thailand) Rayong 180 95 Chevrolet Aveo, Cruze, Captiva, Sonic, Colorado, Trailblazer
BMW Mfg. (Thailand) Rayong 10 8 BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X3, MINI Countryman (Plan: 1 Series, 3 Series GT, X5)
VW (media report) 0→100 (2019) (Operations will start in 2019)
Thai-Swedish Assembly Samutprakarn Volvo: NA Volvo: 1 Volvo trucks and buses
UD: 20 - UD Quester (heavy-duty truck)
Tan Chong International Bangkok 20 2 Fuso trucks, Beiqi Foton Motor's Auman trucks
Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Samutprakarn 16→18-19 (Plan) 5 M-Benz C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, M-Class (plan: CLK)
12.5→15 (2015) 1 Tata Xenon, Super Ace (October 2014-)
Y.M.C. Assembly Bangkok 24 N.A. Mitsuoka models, VW models
SAIC Motor - CP Rayong 50→200 (Plan) - (Operations started in June 2014)
MG6 (Plan: MG3, MG5)

 

 



Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, and Isuzu's activities

Toyota launches new Yaris, new Corolla Altis, and Lexus NX300h

New Yaris  Toyota launched the new Yaris hatchback in October 2013. This is the automaker's first eco-car that was approved by the Thai government. The Yaris comes with a 1.2-liter engine and CVT. It has been produced at the Gateway plant with a monthly sales target of 4,000 units. The model is priced at THB 469,000 to 599,000.
New Corolla Altis  The eleventh-generation Corolla Altis was released in January 2014. The new sedan has three engine options: a 1.8-liter petrol engine, 1.6-liter petrol engine, and 1.6-liter CNG engine. A Super CVT-i or manual transmission is offered. The model has been produced at the Gateway plant. In addition to the ASEAN region, Toyota will export it to the Middle East and Oceania to which the company used to ship the vehicle from Japan. The monthly sales target is set at 4,000 units. The new Corolla Altis is priced at THB 769,000 to 1,069,000.
Lexus NX300h  In August 2014, Toyota announced that it will launch the Lexus NX300h in Thailand. Lexus's first compact SUV was released in Japan in July 2014. It will be imported from the Miyata plant of Toyota Motor Kyushu with an initial sales target of 20 units per month. The model is priced at THB 2.79 million to 3.99 million.
Production plan of pickup trucks  Toyota's investment plan was reportedly included in the plans that were approved by the Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand in June 2014. According to the plan, Toyota will invest THB 51.5 billion to produce 570,000 units at its Samutprakarn and Chachoengsao plants.

(Note) In July 2014, Toyota adjusted its outlook for the 2014 sales downward from 400,000 units to 330,000 units, a 25.9% drop y/y. Toyota's sales for the period of January to July 2014 fell by 30.4% y/y to 189,000 units.

 

Honda to postpone start-up of new plant due to slow demand

 Honda decided to put off the date to start operations at its new plant for six months to a year (reported in April 2014). The automaker has been building the plant in Prachinburi, which was scheduled to come online in 2015. Honda attributed the delay of the plan to the adverse effect of the end of the first car purchase scheme and political unrest on market conditions. The company invested a total of THB 17.15 billion for the new plant with an annual capacity of 120,000 compact cars.

Honda launches various passenger cars in Thailand

New City  The fourth-generation City was released in January 2014. The compact sedan is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine and works with a CVT. It is compatible with E85 fuel. With a spacious cabin, the new City features a full range of safety and comfort equipment. It has been produced at the Ayutthaya plant and is priced at THB 550,000 to 749,000.
New Jazz  Honda launched the new Jazz (sold as the Fit in Japan) in May 2014. The five-door hatchback comes with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine and CVT. It is compatible with E85 fuel. The model has been produced at the Ayutthaya plant with an annual sales target of 20,000 units. It is priced at THB 555,000 to 754,000.
Accord Hybrid  Following Japan, the U.S., and Canada, the Accord Hybrid was released in Thailand in July 2014. The model is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine, two motors, e-CVT, and 1.3kWh lithium-ion battery. It has been assembled at the Ayutthaya plant with an annual sales target of 6,000 units. The Accord Hybrid is priced at THB 1,659,000 to 1,899,000.
City CNG  The City CNG, which was released in August 2014, can run on gasoline as well as compressed natural gas (CNG). This new version of the new City comes with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC petrol engine and CNG system, which includes a 65-liter CNG tank. It is compatible with E20 fuel. A five-speed manual transmission or CVT is offered. It is priced at THB 612,000 to 711,000.
Mobilio  Honda launched the Mobilio, which is an entry-level compact minivan, in September 2014. The model has been developed in Thailand for the Asian markets. Thailand is the third country where the Mobilio is available, following Indonesia and India. The version with a two-row seating is also available for the Thai market. The Mobilio has been produced at the Ayutthaya plant. Honda hopes to sell 10,000 units per year with prices ranging from THB 597,000 to 739,000.

(Note) Honda announced that its outlook for 2014 sales would be 180,000 units at the beginning of the year. The automaker lowered it to 160,000 units in May, to 135,000 units in early July, and to 110,000 units in later July. Honda's sales for the period of January to July 2014 plunged by 62.2% y/y to 56,000 units.

 

Nissan starts operations at second plant to raise annual capacity in Thailand to 370,000 units

 With an investment of THB 3.7 billion, Nissan opened its second plant in July 2014. The second plant was built in Samutprakarn where its first plant is located. The new plant will create 2,000 new job opportunities. Nissan started production of the new NP300 Navara pickup truck at the second plant with a local content of over 85%. The new plant will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units when in full production. With this plant, Nissan's annual capacity in Thailand will expand to 370,000 units.

Nissan introduces various new models into Thai market

New Teana  Nissan launched the new Teana, which is a midsize sedan, in October 2013. The company had begun production of the new Teana in the U.S. (sold as the Altima sister car) and China. In Thailand, the model has been produced at the Samutprakarn plant. A part of the production is exported to the ASEAN region. Its sales target for the initial year was set at 10,000 units. The new Teana comes with a 2- or 2.5-liter engine. It is priced at THB 1.27 million to 1.62 million.
Juke  Nissan released the Juke, which is a five-seat SUV, in Thailand in November 2013. The SUV has been imported from Indonesia with an annual sales target of 10,000 units. It is priced at THB 819,000 to 858,000.
New Almera  The new Almera made its global debut in Thailand in January 2014. The former model of the Almera had been launched as the first eco-car sedan in the Thai market in 2011. The new model is powered by a 1.2-liter engine and with either a five-speed manual transmission or CVT. It offers roominess with enhanced comfort and safety features. The new Almera is priced at THB 433,000 to 608,000.
NP300 Navara  Nissan launched the NP300 Navara, which is the twelfth-generation pickup truck, in July 2014. The model has been produced at the newly-built second plant. More than half of the production will be exported to over 45 countries. It comes with a 2.5-liter petrol or diesel engine, which works with either a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The NP300 Navara is priced at THB 575,000 to 996,000.
Livina  Nissan introduced the Livina, which is a compact SUV, in March 2014. The model is expected to meet the needs of the Thai customers who prefer active lifestyles. It offers a spacious cabin and excellent utility. The Livina is powered by a 1.6-liter engine and with either a five-speed manual transmission or CVT. The model has been imported from Indonesia. The Livina is priced at THB 672,000 to 742,000.

 

Mitsubishi enhances development unit in Thailand; supplies Attrage and next Triton to Fiat-Chrysler

Construction of testing course  In March 2014, Mitsubishi Motors revealed its plan to construct a testing course near its Laemchabang plant. The company intends to open the course in March 2015 to enhance R&D functions in Thailand. The testing course will be used for evaluating durability, marketability, and design for new models as well as examining qualities for existing models. This is the first testing course outside of Japan for the automaker.
Supply of Attrage  Mitsubishi Motors and Chrysler de Mexico (CdM) signed an agreement that Mitsubishi will supply the Attrage global compact sedan to CdM for five years starting in November 2014. Mitsubishi will annually supply more than 10,000 units, which will be produced at its Laemchabang plant in Thailand. CdM plans to distribute the sedan under the Dodge brand only in Mexico.
Supply of next Triton  In September 2014, Mitsubishi Motors announced that it will supply the next-generation model of the Triton pickup truck that is produced in Thailand to Fiat Group Automobile (FGA). According to the Mitsubishi spokesman, the automaker is scheduled to launch the redesigned Triton in the period of October to December 2014 and start supplying it to FGA in the period of January to March 2016. FGA will decide where it will distribute the pickup later.

 

Mazda to join second phase of eco-car project; production of Mazda3 and Mazda2 starts

Investment plan for second phase eco-car project  The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has approved Mazda's investment plan for the second phase of the eco-car project as of July 18, 2014. Mazda reportedly will invest THB 9,727.5 million in the Rayong plant of Auto Alliance (Thailand) (AAT) to produce 158,000 compact cars per year. AAT is a joint venture between Mazda and Ford. While ten OEMs applied for the second phase of the eco-car project, this is the first approval given by the BOI.
Import of CX-5 from Malaysia  Mazda launched the CX-5 SUV in Thailand in November 2013. This is the first model for the country which has adopted Mazda's next-generation technology, "SKYACTIV." The SUV is powered by either a 2.0-/2.5-liter petrol or 2.2-liter diesel engine. It has been produced at Inokom's plant in Malaysia and imported to Thailand. The CX-5 is Mazda's first Malaysian-made model that is exported to other countries. Mazda aims to sell 10,000 units per year at prices ranging from THB 1.2 million to 1.67 million.
Production of new Mazda3  Mazda started production of the new Mazda3 (sold as the Axela in Japan) at the plant of AutoAlliance (Thailand) (AAT) in March 2014. This is the first Skyactiv model that is assembled in Thailand. Following Mexico, Thailand is the second country outside of Japan where the new Mazda3 is produced. The Mazda3 that is built at AAT's plant has been sold for the Thai market starting in March. It is priced at THB 833,000 to 1,094,000.
Production of new Mazda2  In September 2014, Mazda began production of the new Mazda2 (sold as the Demio in Japan) at the plant of AutoAlliance (Thailand). Initially, the model has been produced for Australia. It will be produced for other countries in Oceania and the ASEAN region later. Mazda had started production of the new Mazda2 at the Hofu plant in Japan in July 2014. The automaker also plans to begin assembling the model in Mexico within 2014. (Production for the second phase of the eco-car project is yet to be disclosed.)

 

Suzuki releases Celerio as second eco-car

 In May 2014, Suzuki released the Celerio, which is its second eco-car that was approved by the Thai government. The hatchback is based on the A:Wind concept car that was exhibited at the Thai Motor Expo in November 2013. The model comes with a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine and with either a five-speed manual transmission or CVT with an auxiliary gearbox. It is compatible with E20 fuel, The Celerio has been produced at the Rayong plant. Its export is scheduled to start in October. The European model to be launched in late 2014 will also be produced in Thailand. Suzuki aims to sell 1,000 units per month at prices ranging from THB 359,000 to 488,000.

 

Isuzu launches seven-seat SUV mu-X

 Isuzu launched the mu-X, which is a Passenger Pickup Vehicle (PPV), in Thailand in November 2013. This is a seven-seat midsize SUV that is based on the D-MAX one-ton pickup truck. It replaced the mu-7 and is a sister model of GM's Chevrolet Trailblazer. The mu-X is produced at the Samrong plant. Its export is planned for countries in Oceania and Southeast Asia. Isuzu aims to sell 20,000 units in Thailand per year at prices ranging from THB 1,014,000 to THB 1,401,000.

 

Isuzu to jointly develop next-generation pickup truck with GM

 In September 2014, Isuzu and GM signed an agreement to jointly develop a next-generation midsize pickup truck. The two companies had developed two generations of the pickup trucks together, including the Isuzu D-MAX and GM's Chevrolet Colorado. Isuzu and GM will leverage their technologies to develop an optimum model to match customer needs. The joint team will also leverage synergies and use common components to enable further reduction in cost. The new pickup truck will be distributed in major markets around the world, excluding the U.S. and Canada. Isuzu reportedly will continue to produce the new pickup truck in Thailand. The two companies have not decided on when the new model will go on sale.

 

 



Ford, BMW, VW, and SAIC Motor-CP's activities

Ford starts production and sales of EcoSport SUV

 In January 2014, Ford began production of the EcoSport, which is an all-new SUV, at the Rayong plant. The Thai-built vehicles are for domestic sales and export to the ASEAN countries. The EcoSport shares Ford's global B platform, which is the same as the Fiesta compact car. The SUV is powered by a 1.5-liter Ti-VCT engine and with either a six-speed PowerShift automatic or five-speed manual transmission. It is priced at THB 669,000.

 

BMW to invest EUR 9 million to raise production

 BMW disclosed its plan to invest EUR 9 million in its Rayong plant in Thailand (reported in July 2014). To meet the increasing demand in the country, the automaker intends to raise production at the plant and upgrade its logistics system. It also plans to add production of the BMW 1 Series, 3 Series GT, and X5 and to increase its output of passenger cars to 10,000 units in 2015. (Production in 2014 is expected to be 8,880 units.)

 

VW plans to build a new plant

 VW has a plan to build a new plant in Thailand with an investment of EUR 1 billion (reported in September 2014). The automaker will produce eco-cars and other vehicles at the new plant with an annual capacity of 100,000 to 300,000 units. The plant is slated to be operational by 2019. It is assumed that VW is now waiting for the government to approve its investment plan.

 

SAIC Motor and CP Group build new JV plant; import of commercial vehicles from China starts

New plant comes online  SAIC Motor-CP, which is a joint venture between SAIC Motor and CP Group (a Thai conglomerate), built a vehicle assembly plant in Rayong province with an investment of THB 9 billion. The new plant went online in June 2014 with an initial capacity at 50,000 units per year. It started knockdown production of a model under the British MG brand, which SAIC Motor had acquired in 2007. The joint venture plant will serve both the Thai market and other Southeast Asian markets where the right-hand drive cars are driven.
Production of MG6  SAIC Motor-CP began production of the MG6 at its new plant in Rayong in June 2014. The model comes in two variants: a sedan and a hatchback. It is powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed DCT. SAIC Motor-CP aims to sell 2,000 units in 2014. The model is priced at THB 848,000 to 1,128,000.
Import of China-made commercial vans  In August 2014, SAIC Motor-CP announced its plan to introduce the Maxus V80 Grand Euro, which is a commercial van built in China, into the Thai market. SAIC Motor had acquired the British Maxus brand in 2009. The Maxus van is equipped with a 2.5-liter diesel engine. These vans allow adaptations for ambulances, tourist vans, school vans, and mobile ATMs. The joint venture has a sales target of 500 to 600 units for 2014. The Maxus V80 Grand Euro is priced at THB 1.39 million for a 16-seat version and THB 1.59 million for a 12-seat version.

 

 



CV manufacturers: Isuzu and Beiqi Foton's activities

Isuzu establishes development unit for emerging markets; export to Middle East planned

Development base in Thailand  In April 2014 in Bangkok, Isuzu started operations of Isuzu Global CV Engineering Center Co., Ltd. (IGCE), which is an R&D company for trucks that are designed for the emerging markets. IGCE was established with a capital of THB 100 million. By shifting R&D operations from Japan to Thailand, Isuzu aims to enable the rapid development of commercial vehicles with high cost performance. According to the media reports, the first model to be developed by the new company will go on sale around 2016 in the ASEAN region, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa.
Export of light trucks to Middle East  Isuzu plans to export the light trucks that are built in Thailand to the Middle East starting in October 2014 at the earliest (reported in September 2014). First, the company will ship knockdown kits of the ELF light trucks from the Fujisawa plant in Japan to the Thai plant. After assembling the trucks in Thailand, it will export them to Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. As it is difficult to increase production in Japan due to the shortage in labor, Isuzu will make use of surplus production capacities in Thailand.

 

Beiqi Foton outsources production of trucks to Tang Chong plant

 Beiqi Foton, which is a Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer, reportedly outsourced production of medium- and heavy-duty trucks to Tan Chong Group's plant in Thailand starting in July 2014. The Warrior trucks under the Auman brand have been produced for sale in the Thai market through Foton Truck (Thailand), which is a distribution agent under Tan Chong Group. Beiqi Foton aims to sell 100 units in 2014 and 300 to 500 units in 2015.

 

 



Production Forecast by LMC Automotive: Thai production expected to reach 2.79 million units in 2017

(LMC Automotive、August 2014)

Thai light vehicle production forecast by group According to LMC Automotive's forecast in August 2014, Thai light vehicle production in 2014 will be 1.94 million units, which will be a 19.9% decline y/y. The sharp drop was partly a result of the high base effect of the output in the first half of 2013 (due to the delivery of vehicles under the first car purchase scheme). The domestic market continued to register sharp declines, while exports have so far been stable.

 LMCA projects that production in Thailand is expected to grow over the next three years and will reach 2.79 million units in 2017. Among the OEMs, Ford is projected to increase production significantly over the period. The automaker is likely to shift output of the Fiesta from Mexico to Thailand in 2016.


Thai light vehicle production forecast by make

(Units)
SALES GROUP GLOBAL MAKE 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total 1,439,421 2,381,666 2,415,065 1,935,449 2,326,139 2,602,164 2,792,118
Toyota Group  Toyota 515,813 888,500 863,912 803,450 772,656 759,483 805,440
Hino 152 320 264 253 263 274 297
Toyota Group Sub-total 515,965 888,820 864,176 803,703 772,919 759,757 805,737
Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi 207,660 399,696 351,160 323,755 329,631 321,306 336,885
Isuzu Motors Isuzu 169,921 266,579 261,841 224,206 237,986 247,607 260,981
Renault-Nissan Group Nissan 185,204 250,910 237,889 145,672 205,846 210,325 229,523
Ford Group Ford 117,488 136,417 156,240 142,551 265,937 377,657 401,092
Honda Group Honda 112,961 218,345 269,418 124,923 200,494 243,297 253,982
Mazda Motors Mazda 75,624 60,357 95,111 64,593 90,011 158,360 171,638
General Motors Group Chevrolet 40,007 125,410 108,696 63,315 90,159 108,460 121,306
Suzuki Group Suzuki 0 16,978 52,876 24,268 82,791 123,323 155,476
BMW Group  BMW 4,342 6,152 8,281 8,060 7,899 8,282 8,759
MINI 0 0 128 377 360 395 450
BMW Group Sub-total 4,342 6,152 8,409 8,437 8,259 8,677 9,209
Daimler Group  Mercedes-Benz 4,779 5,155 5,276 4,824 5,275 6,222 7,499
Fuso 0 0 12 143 158 183 209
Daimler Group Sub-total 4,779 5,155 5,288 4,967 5,433 6,405 7,708
Dongfeng Motor Dongfeng 0 2,503 2,115 1,872 2,590 2,660 2,829
SAIC Group MG 0 0 0 1,724 25,793 25,041 25,935
Tata Group Tata 5,470 4,344 1,846 1,463 8,290 9,289 9,817
Source: LMC Automotive's "Global Automotive Production Forecast" (August 2014)
(Note) 1. Data indicate figures of only small-size vehicles, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under six tons.
2. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any data will require permission by LMC Automotive.
3. For more detailed information or inquiries regarding the forecast data, please contact LMC Automotive.

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