Thai production in 2015 increase 3-4% to 1.93-1.95 million units

Thai market shrinks due to front-loaded demand; exports now account for 60% of production volume



Thai vehicle production, exports and sales
Thai market shrinks due to impact of first-car tax rebate scheme

 The Thai government conducted a tax rebate scheme between October 2011 and December 2012, which aimed at encouraging first-time car purchases. The scheme helped boost the country's production and sales significantly in 2012 and 2013. However, production and sales plummeted in 2014 due market balancing once the scheme ended, surging household debt, and political turmoil.

2015 production expected to rise 3-4%; sales projected to fall 13-14%

 In 2015, with the impact of front-loaded demand still remaining and incomes in agricultural areas falling, sales are expected to be 0.76 million to 0.77 million units, down 12.7-13.8% year-over-year (y/y), based on Toyota Motor Thailand's forecast announced in October. On the other hand, production, supported by growing exports, is projected to be 1.93 million to 1.95 million units, up 2.7-3.7% y/y, based on the Federation of Thai Industries' forecast made in December.

 According to LMC Automotive's forecast announced in the third quarter of 2015, Thai light vehicle sales will continue to decrease due to falling rural incomes, high household debt, and political uncertainty. However, the pickup segment is expected to grow in the second half of 2015, as a result of Toyota's recent launch of the long-awaited new version of the Hilux. Nevertheless, total vehicle sales for 2015 are projected to decline by 11.3% y/y to 0.76 million units. After 2016, sales will grow, with sales expected to reach 0.92 million units in 2018.

Thai government to introduce new excise tax

 The Thai military government, which came into power following a coup in May 2014, postponed general elections aimed at restoring a civilian government, from the middle of 2015 to June 2017. In the meantime, the military government introduced various economic-stimulus initiatives whose effects are expected to materialize after 2016.

 By November 2014, the Thai government approved eight OEMs' investment plans for a second phase of an eco-car project. Production under the second phase is supposed to start by the end of 2019. In addition, the government will introduce a new automotive excise tax scheme in January 2016. The tax will be based on the volume of CO2 emissions, instead of on the engine displacement or size. At the end of 2015, last-minute demand for pickup trucks is expected to grow before the new tax is introduced, because after 2015 ends, pickup prices most likely will increase.

Related Reports:

 Japanese suppliers in Thailand: Strengthening production capacity and R&D function (Sep. 2015)

Production of eco-cars increases 47% between January and October 2015

 Thai production in the January-October period of 2015 grew 1.8% y/y to 1.6 million units, while new-car sales in Thailand fell to 620,000 units, down 13.6% y/y, due to front-loaded demand by the first-car tax rebate scheme and reduced incomes in agricultural areas because of a drought and falling crop prices. Meanwhile, exports increased 9.0% y/y to 1.02 million units, accounting for 63.7% of the total production volume.

 Regarding production by vehicle type, production of passenger cars increased 4.6% y/y in the January-October period of 2015. Among the various types of passenger cars built, production of "eco-cars", specifically designated as fuel-efficient, small cars by the Thai government, climbed 46.9% y/y. Production of commercial vehicles (CVs) was at the same level as that of the previous year. Out of all the CVs built, however, production of 1-ton pickup trucks fell 2.3% y/y, excluding passenger pickup vehicles (PPVs). Nevertheless, they still accounted for 51.2% of the total volume built. A 16.9% increase was seen in production of medium- and heavy-duty CVs. With the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, demand for CVs is expected to increase in ASEAN Region countries. Thai-built vehicles are exported mainly to Japan, other Asian countries, Oceania, and the Middle East. For the January-October 2015 period, exports to Asia grew 8.45% and to Oceania they grew 51.2% y/y. On the other hand, exports to the Middle East dropped 24.6% y/y. Exports to Europe and North America, which are both experiencing a market recovery, increased 65.7% and 47.6% y/y, respectively. Exports to Europe and North America of fuel-efficient small cars are increasing.


Thai automobile production by vehicle type Exports from Thailand by destination

Thai vehicle production, exports, and sales

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 (Forecast) Jan.-Oct.
Production 1,457,795 2,453,717 2,457,057 1,880,007 1,930,000~1,950,000 1,568,300 1,597,140
Exports 735,627 1,026,671 1,119,205 1,128,102 1,200,000 932,365 1,016,595
Sales in Thailand 794,081 1,436,335 1,330,678 881,832 760.000~770,000 719,260 621,742
(Exports/production) 50.5% 41.8% 45.9% 60.0% 59.5% 63.7%

Source: for production and exports, the Federation of Thai Industries ( FTI); for retail sales, Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT)


1. Sales in Thailand include imported vehicles.
2. 2015 forecasts are based on FTI's forecasts for production and exports released in December. (After announcing its initial production forecast of 2.2 million in January 2015, FTI adjusted it downward to 2.15 million in February, 2.05 million in July, and 1.95 million-2 million in October.) Sales are based on TMT's forecast announced in October. (After releasing its initial sales forecast of 920,000 in January 2015, TMT lowered it to 800,000 in July.)



Market leader Toyota retains a 34.1% share

 Looking at Thai sales by vehicle type between January and October 2015, we see that sales still remain stagnant, with those of passenger cars falling 21.4% and those of 1-ton pickup trucks (including PPVs) falling 12.0% y/y. On the other hand, sales of medium- and heavy-duty CVs grew 12.1% y/y. Greater business activity in the logistics sector as a result of the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community, along with an increase in infrastructure projects conducted by the Thai government, boosted the demand for large trucks.

 Japanese OEMs accounted for around 90% of the Thai market. Toyota, the market leader, increased its share to 37% in 2014 with strong sales of the Yaris eco-car. However, the automaker's share dropped to 34.1% in the January-October period of 2015 due to plunging sales of small cars such as the Yaris and Vios. Although in May 2015 Toyota released the new Hilux, a redesigned IMV destined for sale worldwide, the Hilux wasn't able to curb the continuing decline in Toyota's overall sales. Isuzu regained the second-place position in the market in 2014 and continued to maintain this position going into 2015, achieving an 18.1% share between January and October 2015. Isuzu continues to enjoy successful sales of the D-MAX pickup and SUV mu-X. In 2013, Honda was the market leader in terms of passenger car sales, and was second in terms of total market share for the first time, with a 16% share. Nevertheless, its share plummeted to 12.1% in 2014, being severely impacted by the end of the first-car buyer incentive scheme. For the January-October period of 2015, Honda's share recovered to 14.4%, with strong sales of the HR-V compact SUV.


Thai automobile sales by vehicle type Automobile market share in Thailand



Investment plans approved for second phase of eco-car project; new excise tax scheme in 2016

 By November 2014, the Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand had approved eight OEMs' investment plans for the second phase of an eco-car project. In addition to the five Japanese OEMs (Toyota, Suzuki, Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi) that participated in Phase 1 of the project, Mazda, Ford and SAIC Motor-CP will join Phase 2. Under the plan approved as of November 2104, the eight OEMs combined are planning to invest a total of THB 87.0 billion and build 1.62 million units, some of which are units built under Phase 1. However, with surplus production capacities, coupled with the continued stagnant market conditions in Thailand, it is hard to say if all OEMs will actually execute their plans.

 The Thai government will replace the current excise tax based on engine displacement, with a new one based on CO2 emissions, starting in January 2016. The tax rate for pickup trucks that emit more than 200 g/km of CO2 will be raised from 3% to 5%. As a result, OEMs are improving existing models or mounting redesigned engines to reduce CO2 emissions. There is expected to be last-minute buying at the end of 2015 for trucks whose prices will be raised when the new tax is imposed.

Eco-car phase 2 investment plans approved as of November 2014

OEM Investment Annual production capacity Plant
Toyota THB 1.9 billion Eco-cars: 160,000 units (includes units built
under Phase 1; increased from 100,000 units)
Gateway plant
THB 10,406 million Eco-cars: 100,000 units
Suzuki THB 8,438.7 million Eco-cars: 100,000 units Rayong plant
Honda THB 8,161 million Eco-cars: 100,000 units Prachinburi plant
Nissan THB 6,860 million Eco-cars: 123,000 units, components: 2 million parts Samutprakarn plant
THB 3,113 million Eco-cars: 134,000 units (increased from 120,000 units)
Mitsubishi THB 4.9 billion Eco-cars: 233,000 units Laemchabang plant
THB 7.7 billion Eco-cars: 220,000 units (includes units built
under Phase 1; increased from 180,000 units)
(Mazda, Ford)
THB 9,727.5 million Eco-cars: 158,000 units; components: 200,000 parts Rayong plant
SAIC Motor-CP THB 7.61 billion Eco-cars: 110,000 units Rayong plant
Ford THB 18.18 billion Eco-cars: 180,000 units; engines: 2,000 units Rayong plant

Source: The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI)
(Note) Although GM's investment plan was approved in October 2014, the company decided to withdraw from the eco-car project in February 2015 due to the reorganizing of its Thai operations. While VW reportedly applied to participate in the eco-car project, its investment plan has yet to be disclosed.


Automotive excise tax rate (current and new tax structure)

of vehicles
Current tax structure New tax structure (January 1, 2016-)
Engine capacity
Tax rate (%) Engine capacity
Tax rate (%)
E10 E20 E85 E10/E20 E85/NGV
Passenger vehicles ≦2,000 30 25 22 ≦3,000 ≦150 30 25
2,001-2,500 35 30 27 151-200 35 30
2,501-3,000 40 35 32 >200 40 35
>3,000 50 50 50 >3,000 50 50
Eco cars ≦1,300(G)/≦1,400(D) 17 ≦1,300(G)/≦1,500(D) ≦100 14 12
101-120 17 17
EV/FC/Hybrid ≦3,000 10 ≦3,000 ≦100 10
101-150 20
151-200 25
>200 30
>3,000 50 >3,000 50
PPV ≦3,250 20 ≦3,250 ≦200 25
>200 30
Double cab ≦3,250 12 ≦3,250 ≦200 12
>200 15
Space cab ≦3,250 - ≦3,250 ≦200 5
>200 7
Pick up ≦3,250 3 ≦3,250 ≦200 3
>200 5
PPV/Dc/Sc/Pick up >3,250 50 >3,250 50

Source: Excise Department, Ministry of Finance (Thailand)
(Note) E10, E20, and E85 refer to vehicles that can use biofuel containing 10%, 20%, and 85% ethanol, respectively. NGV stands for natural gas vehicles; EV for electric vehicles; FC fuel cell vehicles; PPV for people pickup vehicles; Dc for Double cab pickups, and Sc for Space cab pickups.



Honda postpones commercial launch at its third plant; SAIC Motor-CP to build new plant

 Even though Honda built its third plant in Thailand, it has postponed the launch date of vehicle production at the new plant for one year, to March 2016 due to stagnant demand in the country. Meanwhile, Ford plans to expand its plant to increase production of pickups, and BMW plans to raise the annual production capacity at its existing plant by 25%, to 20,000 units. SAIC Motor-CP reportedly has a plan to build a new plant with an annual production capacity of 200,000 units in 2016.

 In order to improve the cost competitiveness of the vehicles by increasing the percentage of local content, some OEMs are either building or expanding powertrain plants. Mazda started operations at its new transmission plant in January 2015 and at its new engine plant in October of the same year. Isuzu added an assembly line to its existing engine plant.

 (A table called "Major OEM plants in Thailand" is provided at the end of this report.)


Honda to start assembly operations at new plant in March 2016

 Due to slow demand and political turmoil in Thailand, Honda postponed the launch date of assembly operations at its new Prachinburi plant for one year, changing it from April 2015 to March 2016, when it plans to start building engines and vehicles. Honda began manufacturing components at the plant in October 2015. Resin parts are produced for the City compact sedan and the Jazz compact car assembled at the Ayutthaya plant


Ford to expand its Rayong plant

 Ford announced in December 2015 that it plans to expand its Rayong plant, having received approval from the Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand to invest THB 6.37 billion. Ford is now producing mainly small vehicles at the Rayong plant. It will install new facilities and equipment to build the Ranger pickup and the Everest SUV, for which GM has received significant orders from outside Thailand. Construction is scheduled to start in the beginning of 2016. Ford is currently producing the Ranger and the Everest at the plant of AutoAlliance (Thailand), a 50-50 joint venture between Ford and Mazda. Since this plant is close to operating at full capacity, Ford needs to increase its production capacity.


BMW to raise annual production capacity by 25% to 20,000 units

 BMW plans to invest THB 1.1 billion in its Rayong plant by the end of 2015 to increase its current annual production capacity by 25% to 20,000 units. An engine assembly line is planned to be added. While total unit sales by all OEMs in Thailand dropped 14.6% y/y for the January-September period of 2015, BMW's sales actually grew 7.4% for the same period, to 6,207 units, thanks to a growing class of wealthy consumers. The automaker intends to expand local production to improve cost competitiveness and to boost its sales.


SAIC Motor-CP to build new 200,000 unit plant in 2016

 SAIC Motor-CP, a joint venture between SAIC Motor and CP Group, reportedly acquired a site for a new plant in November 2015. The company purchased a 700,000-square feet plot in Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, Chonburi, Eastern Thailand. It plans to build a plant with an annual production capacity of 200,000 units. Construction is scheduled to start in 2016. The company currently leases a plant with an annual capacity of 50,000 units in the same industrial estate.


Mazda starts operations at new powertrain plant

 Mazda held an opening ceremony at its new powertrain plant, Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand), in August 2015. With the launch of this plant, Thailand became the first location outside of Japan where Mazda has seamless production operations capable of building engines, transmissions, and vehicles.
Launch of transmission production  Mazda started producing the Skyactiv-Drive, a new automatic transmission, in January 2015 at the new plant, which is the first plant Mazda has built outside of Japan to produce transmissions. These transmissions will be supplied to the new Mazda2, the new Mazda3 and the CX-5 which are produced in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Mexico. The plant has an annual production capacity of 400,000 units.
Launch of engine production  In October 2015, Mazda started producing the Skyactive-D1.5, a 1.5-liter diesel engine, for the Mazda2 produced in Thailand. Mazda will start producing a 1.3-liter gasoline engine from January 2016. The initial annual production capacity is 30,000 units. The plant meets the requirements of the second phase of the eco-car project. This is the fourth plant producing Skyactiv engines, following the other three plants in Japan, China and Mexico.


Isuzu produces new diesel engine

 Isuzu started producing new, fuel-efficient diesel engines in Thailand in November 2015. The OEM invested more than JPY 10 billion in its existing engine plant to add an assembly line to build a new 1.9-liter engine. The new engine is mounted on the D-MAX pickup truck. This downsized engine has smaller displacement than the current 2.5-3.0-liter engines and is equipped with a turbocharger. This new engine has the same level of power as that of existing engines but gets 19% better fuel economy. The new engine will be subject to the excise tax based on CO2 emissions, which the Thai government will introduce in 2016.



Recent activities by Toyota, Isuzu, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Suzuki

Toyota redesigns IMV series models strategically designed for emerging markets

 Toyota redesigned the IMV Series, which are models strategically designed for sale in emerging markets, for the first time in eleven years. The company started building the new model in Thailand in May 2015, and will increase its production locations to ten countries in total from 2016 and after. Toyota aims to sell a million units of the IMV Series annually in the world, forecasting to build 500,000 units in Thailand. In the future, Toyota expects global annual sales to grow to 1.2 million units.
New Hilux  Launched in May 2015, the New Hilux small pickup truck is a core model of the IMV Series. It comes with a new diesel engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. It gets 10% better fuel economy than the previous model, and since more than 95% of its parts are procured in Asia, it is more cost competitive too. Toyota started exporting the new Hilux in July 2015, and intends to export it to more than 100 countries in the future. The model is produced at the Samrong and Ban Pho plants. It is priced between THB 569,000 and 1,139,000.
New Fortuner  Launched in July 2015, the New Frontier is a seven-seat SUV in the IMV Series. It shares its platform with the Hilux pickup released in May. Its fuel economy was improved by 10%. The SUV is produced at the Samrong and Ban Pho plants. It is priced from THB 1,199,000.


Toyota to produce new C-HR compact SUV in Thailand

 Toyota plans to sell the C-HR compact SUV, which is still under development, as a new global strategic model. The new SUV will built based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), Toyota's new development and production strategy. It will share the same platform with the new Prius being launched in December 2015. Toyota intends to produce 300,000 units of the C-HR per year at five locations in the world by 2018. Production is scheduled to start in Japan and Turkey in the fall of 2016, followed by Thailand and China in 2018. In Thailand, 2,000 units are planned to be produced per year.


Toyota discontinues production and sales of Prius in Thailand

 Toyota, which discontinued building Prius hybrid vehicles at the Gateway plant at the end of September 2015, also decided to discontinue selling them in Thailand. Toyota's decision was based on slow sales due to the stagnant economy and issues with the Thai government regarding tariffs on imported parts. The highest sales of the Prius (7,785 units) were recorded in 2011. Sales decreased to 5,794 and 1,907 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and fell to 919 in 2014.


Honda launches compact SUV in November 2014; three-row SUV to be released in 2016

Compact SUV HR-V  The HR-V (sold as the Vezel in Japan) compact SUV was launched in November 2014. The model is produced in Factory 2 at the Ayutthaya plant. The annual sales target is 20,000 units. The HR-V comes with a 1.8-liter i-VTEC E85-compatible engine manufactured in Thailand mated to a CVT. The model is priced between THB 890,000 and 1,045,000.
Three-row SUV BR-V  The BR-V is a three-row SUV that will be launched in the first half of 2016. The model will be equipped with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC E85-compatible engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. Honda unveiled a production model of the BR-V at the Thailand International Motor Expo 2015, which opened on December 1, 2015. Initially the SUV will be manufactured and sold in Indonesia starting in the beginning of 2016. It will also be produced in Thailand in the future.


Nissan starts production of new X-Trail and X-Trail HV

New X-TRAIL  Nissan started building and selling the new X-Trail midsize SUV in November 2014. The model is manufactured in Factory 1 at the Samutprakarn plant. Nissan aims to sell 8,000 units annually. The 2.0-liter model is priced between THB 1,172,000 and 1,325,000, while the 2.5-liter model is priced at THB 1,551,000.
X-TRAIL HV  Production of the X-Trail hybrid began in Factory 1 at the Samutprakarn plant in October 2015. This is the first plant outside of Japan where Nissan builds the model. With the SUV market expanding in Thailand, Nissan intends to take advantage of growing demand among wealthy consumers by launching the SUV hybrid. The annual sales target is 5,000 units. The X-Trail hybrid is priced from THB 1,249,000.


Mitsubishi releases new Triton and new Pajero Sport

New Triton  Mitsubishi launched the new Triton pickup truck in November 2014. This is the fifth-generation model, which was redesigned for the first time in nine years. It is being built at the Laemchabang plant and exported to 150 countries from Thailand. The Triton for the Thai market is powered by three different types of engines: a conventional 2.5-liter engine, a newly developed 2.4-liter diesel-turbo engine, or a 2.4-liter gasoline engine. Transmission options are either a five- or six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. The model is priced between THB 470,000 and 1,020,000.
New Pajero Sport  Mitsubishi released the new Pajero Sport midsize SUV in the fall of 2015. The SUV was redesigned for the first time in seven years. The new model comes with a 2.4-liter MIVEC diesel turbo engine mated to Mitsubishi's first-ever eight-speed automatic transmission. The fuel economy of the new model was improved by 17% compared to that of the former model. It is produced at the Laemchabang plant and exported to countries in the ASEAN Region, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. The model is priced between THB 1,138,000 and 1,399,000.


Mazda launches new Mazda2, new BT-50, and CX-3

New Mazda2  Mazda released the Mazda2 sedan and five-door hatchback in January 2015. The model comes with the Skyactiv-D1.5, a new 1.5-liter diesel engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It is produced at the Rayong plant of AutoAlliance (Thailand), a joint venture between Ford and Mazda. The new Mazda2 was approved by the Thai government as an eco-car fulfilling the requirements of the second phase of the government's eco-car project. This is the first diesel-powered eco-car. The Mazda2 is priced between THB 675,000 and 790,000.
New BT-50  The new BT-50 pickup truck was launched in the second half of 2015. The model is powered by either a 3.2- or 2.2-liter diesel; or a 2.5-liter gasoline engine mated to a six-speed automatic or to either a five- or six-speed manual transmission. It is produced at the Rayong plant of AutoAlliance (Thailand). The new BT-50 will be launched in Australia and emerging markets also. The model is priced between THB 554,000 and 1,016,000.
CX-3  Mazda started building the CX-3 compact SUV at the Rayong plant of AutoAlliance (Thailand) in October 2015. This is the first plant outside Japan to build the CX-3. The model is equipped with either a 2.0-liter gasoline or a 1.5-liter diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles produced at the Rayong plant will be sold in Thailand, Malaysia and other countries in the ASEAN Region. The CX-3 is priced between THB 835,000 and 1,155,000.


Suzuki launches Ciaz sedan and exports Celerio to Europe

Launch of Ciaz  Suzuki launched the Ciaz midsize sedan in July 2015. The model comes with a 1.25-liter gasoline engine mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT with an auxiliary gearbox. This is Suzuki's third eco-car approved by the Thai government. It is produced at the Rayong plant. Thailand is the third country where the Ciaz has been launched, following India and China (sold as the Alivio). The Ciaz is priced between THB 484,000 and 625,000.
Export of Celerio to Europe  Suzuki started exporting the Celerio compact hatchback to Europe in September 2014. The Celerio has been approved as an eco-car by the Thai government. Suzuki hopes to ship 3,000 vehicles per month to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The Celerio is produced at the Rayong plant.



Recent activities by GM, Tata and SAIC Motor-CP

GM reorganizes Asian operations and withdraws from eco-car project

Reorganization of Asian operations  In February 2015, GM announced that it will reorganize its operations in Thailand as part of its plan for revamping its Southeast Asian operations. In order to strengthen the Chevrolet brand, GM will discontinue sales of less competitive passenger cars while concentrating its resources on pickups and SUVs, which are more popular. As a result, GM decided to withdraw from the second phase of Thailand's eco-car project.
Production of Sonic terminated  GM's plan for reorganizing its Thai operations includes continuing production and sales of the Colorado pickup, the Captiva and Trailblazer SUVs, and Cruze compact, while phasing out the Sonic subcompact and Spin minivan at the end of their current model-year life cycles. Accordingly, production of the Sonic at the Rayong plant already ended in June 2015.


Tata starts exporting Thai-built Xenon pickup to Malaysia

 Tata launched sales of the Thai-built Xenon pickup truck in Malaysia in January 2015. The pickup is being built at a production plant that is a joint venture between Tata and Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant, a Thai vehicle assembler. Considering the ASEAN Region as an important market, Tata plans to increase exports from Thailand to Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as to Australia too, in the future.


SAIC Motor-CP starts production and sales of MG3 and MG5

MG3  In March 2015, SAIC Motor-CP started production and sales of the MG3, which is being built at the Rayong plant. Following the launch of the MG6, this is the second model launched in Thailand by SAIC Motor-CP. The MG3 is a subcompact car sold under the British MG brand, which is owned by SAIC Motor. The model is powered by a 1.5-liter engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It is available in two body variants: the five-door hatchback and five-door Xross (pronounced "cross"). The model is priced between THB 479,000 and 595,000.
MG5  SAIC Motor-CP begun production and sales of the MG5 subcompact sedan in November 2015. This is the third model being marketed in Thailand by the company. The 1.5-liter turbo gasoline engine model is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 1.5-liter gasoline engine model comes with a four-speed automatic transmission. The MG5 is priced between THB 649,000 and 759,000. Although SAIC Motor-CP has set a target of selling 5,000 MG-brand vehicles per year, it has so far only sold a mere 1,890 units during the January-September period of 2015.



CV manufacturers: Recent activities by Hino, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Isuzu

Hino launches modularized medium-duty truck

 Hino Motors launched the new HINO500 Series medium-duty truck in Thailand in September 2015. The new truck is the first of Hino's vehicles built around the concept of "modularization". Following the launch of the HINO500 Series in Indonesia in January 2015, Thailand became the second country where Hino is marketing these vehicles. Based on a "modularization" concept, the company is advancing standardization of parts, producing the core parts in Japan while procuring the peripheral parts locally. As a result, local content of the truck increased from 30% to 60%, and the lead time (including production and transport time) was shortened to one third of what it was previously.


Mitsubishi Fuso imports FUSO brand medium- and heavy-duty trucks from India

 Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation introduced new medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the Thai market. The trucks are sold under the FUSO brand, which is strategically designed for Asia and Africa. The company launched sales of a series of trucks: in May, the FJ heavy-duty truck (a concrete mixer truck with a GVW of 25 tons); and in August, the FI medium-duty trucks (a dump truck and a cargo truck), the FJ heavy-duty trucks (a concrete mixer and a long cargo truck), and the FZ heavy-duty truck (a tractor). The trucks are produced at the Oragadam plant in India and imported to Thailand. Positioning Thailand as a strategic growth market, Mitsubishi Fuso aims to increase its market share in the country.


Isuzu to develop and produce trucks for emerging countries in Thailand

 In April 2014, Isuzu Motors established Isuzu Global CV Engineering in Bangkok, which is company designated to developing and designing trucks destined for sale in emerging markets. As a result, Isuzu has built a seamless production structure in Thailand, from the design phase up to the actual production of CVs. According to an interview with its president, Mr. Masonori Katayama, in August 2015, the first model that will be developed entirely in Thailand, a new model truck, will be launched by the end of March 2018 and the second one is expected to follow after two years.




Major OEMs' plants in Thailand

Plant Annual production capacity (1,000 units) Production volume (1,000 units)
Models being produced
Toyota Motor
Thailand (TMT)
Samrong 230 732 Toyota Hilux Vigo
Ban Pho 220 Toyota Hilux Vigo, Fortuner
Gateway 1 220 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Vios, Corolla, Wish, eco-car (Yaris) (Production of the Prius was terminated at the end of September 2015)
Gateway 2 80
Toyota Auto Works Samutprakarn 20 Toyota Hiace
Hino Motors Mfg.
Bang Pakong 10
(One shift/standard working hours)
10 Hino trucks & buses
Nissan Motor
Samutprakarn 1 220 127 Nissan Navara, Teana, Sylphy, Pulsar, X-TRAIL (November 2014-), eco-car (March, Almera/Latio)
Samutprakarn 2 150 NP300 Navara
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Ayutthaya 1 150 144 Honda City, Jazz (Fit), Jazz HV, Mobilio (From September 2014), eco-car (Brio, Brio Amaze)
Ayutthaya 2 150 Civic, Civic HV, Accord, Accord HV, CR-V, HR-V (From November 2014)
Prachinburi 0→120 (2016) (Assembly operations were scheduled to start in 2015, but were postponed until March 2016)
Production of parts started in October 2015
Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Laemchabang 1 90 197 Mitsubishi Triton (L200), Lancer EX, Pajero Sport, (Production on an outsourcing basis)
Laemchabang 2 220 Triton (L200), Pajero Sport, Triton for FCA (from 2015)
Laemchabang 3 200 126 eco-car (Mirage, Attrage)
Isuzu Motors Company (Thailand) Samrong 260 235 Isuzu D-Max, mu-X, light-/medium-duty trucks
Gateway 140 Isuzu D-Max, mu-X, commercial vehicles, pickups (knockdown kits for export)
Suzuki Motor (Thailand) Rayong 78→100 (2016) 23 eco-car (Swift, Celerio, Ciaz from June 2015)
AutoAlliance (Thailand) Rayong Pickup: 140
CKD kits: 55
132 Ford Ranger, Everest, Mazda BT-50
Passenger cars: 120 41 Mazda2, Mazda3, CX-3 (From October 2015)
Ford Thailand Manufacturing Rayong 150 42 Ford Focus, EcoSport
General Motors (Thailand) Rayong 180 55 Chevrolet Aveo, Cruze, Captiva, Colorado, Trailblazer (Production of the Sonic was terminated in June 2015)
BMW Mfg. (Thailand) Rayong 16 to 20 (TBD) 7 BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X1, X3, X5, MINI Countryman
VW (based on media reports) 0→100 (2019) (Operations to start in 2019)
Thai-Swedish Assembly Samutprakarn Volvo: 4.5 Volvo: 0.6 Volvo trucks and buses
UD: 20 UD: 1 UD Quester (heavy-duty trucks)
Tan Chong International Bangkok 20 Fuso: 1 Fuso trucks, Beiqi Foton Motor's Auman trucks
Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Samutprakarn 19 5 M-Benz C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, M-Class (CLK, C300 BlueTec Hybrid under development)
12.5→15 (2015) 1 Tata Xenon (Super Ace under development)
Y.M.C. Assembly Bangkok 24 N/A Mitsuoka models, VW models
SAIC Motor - CP Rayong 1 50 1 MG6, MG3 (From March 2015) MG5 (From November 2015)
Rayong 2 0 to 200 (TBD) (Construction to start in 2016)



Production Forecast by LMC Automotive: Thai production expected to reach 2.16 million units in 2018

(LMC Automotive、October 2015)

Thai light vehicle production forecast During the first half of 2015, new-vehicle production in Thailand fell only 2.5% while domestic demand in Thailand significantly decreased by 17%. The reason for the slight decrease overall in production volume in relation to the huge decrease in domestic demand is because export vehicles filled in the gap, and actually increased 3% during the period. Export volume is expected to increase even further in the second half of the year because of several OEMs' plans to export a number of models such as the new Toyota Hilux, the new Ford Everest, and the new Suzuki Ciaz.

 According to LMC Automotive's forecast released in October 2015, total exports in 2015 are expected to exceed those of last year and production is expected to increase 2.8% y/y. Among OEMs, Toyota Group's production is expected to decline by 11.3%, as production of both the Vios and the Yaris subcompact cars is likely to fall. LMC Automotive forecasts that overall production in Thailand will continue to grow over the next three years and reach 2.16 million units in 2018.

Thai light vehicle production forecast by make (LMC Automotive)

Sales Group Global Make 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total 2,381,670 2,415,074 1,872,662 1,924,805 2,066,401 2,070,531 2,161,288
Toyota Group Toyota 888,501 863,917 732,027 649,320 725,169 720,126 773,370
Hino 320 264 0 141 71 88 93
Toyota Group sub-total 888,821 864,181 732,027 649,461 725,240 720,214 773,463
Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi 399,695 351,162 323,179 337,715 347,346 337,675 321,404
Isuzu Motors Isuzu 266,584 261,840 234,673 228,268 208,998 207,943 210,247
Honda Group Honda 218,345 269,418 143,685 176,526 190,915 191,175 203,940
Renault-Nissan Group Nissan 250,909 237,888 128,240 146,476 165,314 174,652 178,895
Ford Group Ford 136,418 156,240 147,202 130,460 136,939 145,342 173,132
Mazda Motors Mazda 60,358 95,111 69,202 121,719 140,250 129,820 129,930
Suzuki Group Suzuki 16,978 52,876 23,297 67,300 95,871 103,233 106,226
General Motors Group Chevrolet 125,408 108,700 55,410 47,458 39,851 44,405 46,155
Daimler Group Mercedes-Benz 5,155 5,276 4,638 6,363 5,651 5,613 6,302
Fuso 0 12 37 3 11 12 12
Daimler Group sub-total 5,155 5,288 4,675 6,366 5,662 5,625 6,314
BMW Group BMW 6,152 8,281 6,779 7,142 5,255 5,273 5,937
MINI 0 128 363 337 215 221 249
BMW Group sub-total 6,152 8,409 7,142 7,479 5,470 5,494 6,186
SAIC Group MG 0 0 0 3,575 2,139 2,003 2,133
Roewe 0 0 1,322 406 261 260 293
SAIC Group sub-total 0 0 1,322 3,981 2,400 2,263 2,426
Dongfeng Motor Dongfeng 2,503 2,115 1,883 1,220 1,278 1,596 1,759
Tata Group Tata 4,344 1,846 725 376 867 1,094 1,211
Source: LMC Automotive "Global Automotive Production Forecast (October 2015)
(Note) 1. Data indicate figures of only small-size vehicles, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under 6 tons.
2. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any data will require permission of LMC Automotive.
For more detailed information or inquiries of forecast data, please contact LMC Automotive.

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