Hino Motors, Ltd, a Japanese manufacturer of trucks and buses and light-commercial vehicles, announced plans to establish a new 400,000 sq m development and production base in in Bang Bo, Samutprakarn Province, with an investment of JPY 11.5 billion (USD 104 million). The facility will be engaged in product planning, development, and production of light- and medium-duty trucks and buses. Initially vehicles will be produced for the domestic Thai market, and Hino expects to begin supplying to other emerging markets in ASEAN by around 2024.
Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2019, while operations are expected to start in 2021. It will employ around 1,300 staff when operations begin.
Hino's production functions that are currently distributed across 3 existing plants in Thailand will be consolidated at the new center to improve production efficiency. Currently it has 3 factories, one in Samron and one in Bangplee, both of which are producing components for Toyota vehciles and one in Bangpakong producing Hino vehicles.
Know-how from Hino's Koga Plant in Japan will be actively incorporated into the new plant to create a system that will enable Hino to deliver competitive products to our customers in a timely fashion.
(Sources: Hino Motors, Ltd.; Thailand Business News)
Chinese company, Prinx Chengshan, announced in January 2018 that it will invest 19 million GBP in a new tire factory in Thailand. The factory will be located across three sites located at Tambon Nong Suea Chang, Amphur Nong Yai, and Tambon Klong-Kew, Amphur Ban-Bung, Chonburi province..
The tire maker believes that the Thai site offers low costs for raw materials and transportation, while also avoiding international trade barriers. Other benefits include local preferential policies on areas such as taxes and human resources.
The Chinese company has also opted to have a plant located overseas in order to create a more global image for its products, which it believes will improve the positioning and enhance the competitiveness of its products.
(Sources: Rubber & Plastics News; Morjan Media)
Toyota Motor Thailand has decided to move up the start of its battery assembly in Chachoengsao province to mid-2019, up from early 2020. This is part of the company’s total investment of THB 19 billion (USD 0.6 billion) for hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) at the Gateway plant in Chachoengsao.
The battery assembly plant is expected to produce a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) version that Toyota's hybrid EVs sold in the Thai market have to use.
Toyota is the first vehicle manufacturer to win BOI privileges Under the government's EV scheme, and start local production at the Gateway plant. According to the Thai The Board of Investment (BOI), Toyota plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid EVs a year, making 70,000 batteries for EVs and producing other parts such as doors and bumpers.
(Source: Bangkok Post)
In September 2018, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), majority owned by Daimler Trucks, announced the construction of a new complete knock-down (CKD) assembly plant in Thailand. It was further announced that Daimler Commercial Vehicles Thailand (DCVT) will take over the Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus business to have a consolidated organization dedicated to commercial vehicles. Mercedes-Benz products will complement DCVT’s current FUSO product portfolio especially in the high power, heavy-duty spectrum. The initiative is intended to allow DCVT to expand its customer-service solutions such as ‘One Stop Solution’, including fully-built vehicles, leasing, protection and service to be expanded to Mercedes-Benz products as well.
Michael Kamper, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing, MFTBC stated: “With its conductive business environment and strategic location in Southeast Asia, Thailand constitutes a key market for our global growth strategy.”
MFTBC will invest 12 Million Euro (450 million Thai Baht) into the new plant, which will be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), a key region for Thailand’s economic growth.
In a first stage, the plant will assemble FUSO’s heavy-duty FJ 2528C trucks, launched in Thailand in 2018 and designed for the rapidly growing construction segment. Construction of the plant is scheduled to commence in October 2018 with the inauguration of the facilities targeted for the second quarter of 2019.
(Source: Mitsubishi Fuso; Yicai Global)
Germany company Covestro, one of the world's leading polymer companies, has decided to make a significant investment in Thailand. The company wants to boost its production capacity for specialty filmsin Rayong province. The company’s plan to expand its manufacturing plant in Map Ta Phut will allow Covestro to keep pace with rising global demand, the company's chief financial officer, Thomas Toepfer, said during an interview with The Nation. The expansion of its specialty films production in Thailand is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, hence increasing the production capacity by around 50 per cent.
Covestro’s manufacturing plant in Map Ta Phut is among the eight largest production facilities that it operates worldwide
Covestro has three businesses in Thailand covering polyurethanes, polycarbonates, and also coatings, adhesives etc. and most of the production is exported. The factory in Map Ta Phut produces polycarbonates and specialty films. Covestro also has a facility in Bangpoo, Samut Prakarn, which produces polyurethanes and tailor-makes them to meet customer needs.
Toepfer said that the sales revenue of Covestro's three existing businesses in Thailand registered annual growth in the double digits for the second quarter of this year.
“Thailand is very well served as our strategic location for production and further investment. It offers good infrastructure, talented people in technical fields, support on FDI (foreign direct investment) from government including the new projects in the EEC and a great logistics network” Toepfer said.
(Source: The Nation)
In August 2018, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) approved four investment projects that include Honda and Nissan’s hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) production projects.
Nissan’s THB 10,960 million (USD 336 million) hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) production and battery production project will be located in Bang Saothong in Samut Prakarn Province. The project will produce e-Power hybrid electric vehicles, using local content worth over THB 15,920 million (USD 488 million) a year. This facility will be the second production base for this product after Japan. HEV is an automotive transition from current internal combustion engines to the more ecofriendly electric engine systems.
Honda’s project, located at Rojana Industrial Parks in Ayutthaya and Prachinburi provinces, involves the production of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and HEV battery production. Honda will make investment of THB 5,821 million (USD 178 million) and use local content valued THB 2,766.8 million (USD 84 million), including tires, parts, front and rear bumpers, and wiring. The company also plans to produce more parts locally in the future.
Previously, BOI has approved several electrical vehicle production projects, including Toyota’s hybrid car production, Mercedes-Benz and BMW’s plug-in hybrid car production projects worth over THB 20,000 million (USD 613 million) in total, and six EV battery and high density battery production projects valued at THB 5,400 million (USD 165 million).
The other two proects approved by BOI include a THB 9,250 million (USD 284 million) air transportation services expansion project through which the low-budget carrier, Thai Air Asia Xm will lease six Airbus A330 passenger aircraft for scheduled and chartered commercial flight services. The company will also expand its routes both in Thailand and overseas, including such popular destinations as China, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Finally, Mars Petcare (Thailand) Co., Ltd. will invest THB 3,600 million (USD 110 million) in an animal feed production expansion project at the Amata City Industrial Estate in Chonburi Province. Using local content worth THB 800 million (USD 25 million) per year, the project will add value to locally produced agricultural products
(Source: Thailand Board of Investment)
A South Korean cosmetics company, Cosmax Inc, opened new manufactuering facilities in Bang Phli, near Bangkok in late June. Cosmax is a leading original design manufacturer for leading cosmetics brands worldwide. Its clients include L'Oreal, Maybelline, Yves Saint Laurent, shu uemura, the Face Shop, Clio and many more international and Korean big names. Cosmax established a local subsidiary in Thailand last year with the aim of tapping into the Asian beauty Market.
The 9,000 square meters factory with 150 employees has a capacity of producing about 30 million units of skincare and makeup products per year. The company plans to export these products manufactured in Thailand to neigbouring countries, such as Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos. Cosmax has an existing factory in Indonesia for manufacturing halal-certified products for local consumption in Indonesia and export to Malaysia, another Muslim country in the region.
Thailand is a growing market for global beauty brands and there is high interest in Korean cosmetics. The research firm Euromonitor has estimated Thailand's beauty market to be worth around 5.6 billion won (USD 5.01 million) in 2016 and a Kotra report predicted it to reach 7.2 billion won (USD 6.35 million) in size by 2021. Johnson & Johnson, P&G and Unilever are already manufacturing in the country.
(Sources: RetailNews Asia, Korea Times)
SET-listed MK Restaurant Group Plc has has entered into a partnership with Japanese logistics leader, Senko Hroup Holding Co Ltd to provide full-service cold chain logistics to food businesses in Thailand through a joint venture entity called M-Senko Co . The two partners hold equal stakes in M-Senko Co. The service is intended to provide origin-to-destination capabilities across Thailand, including reefer trucks and a 53,000 sqaure metres central logistics facility with a cold and dry warehouse on Bangna-Trad Road km.21.
Outside of Japan, Senko has a presence in China, Myanmar, South Korea, the United States and Central Asia. The MK Restaurant Group operates 426 MK Suki restaurants in Thailand and 171 Yayoi restaurants, along with another 38 eateries operated under different brands. It plans to invest around THB 1.5 billion (USD 45 million) for the first phase of the operations. 1 billion baht will be used to build the cold chain warehouse, 300 million for transport facilities and the remainder for the dry warehouse. Operations are expected to start in August 2019. The focus during the first years of operations willl be on providing warehousing, transport, forwarding and trading to business-to-business customers in the food sector for convenience stores, supermarkets and restaurants.
Revenues for 2019 are estimated to be around THB 800 million (USD 24 million) and THB 1.8 billion (USD 55 million) for the subsequent year. There are also plans to expand the cold chain logistics service to the nreighbouring countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam later.
(Sources: The Nation, Bangkok Post, Japan Times)
The governments of Thailand and Japan are cooperating for the upgrading of the Thai manufacturing sector, with Japan having contributed with a 30 million baht (USD 0.94 million) investment for the new Thai industry transformation centre (ITC), which is equipped with a Lean Automation System Integrator (LASI) that has been installed to support automation and robotics systems for Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to improve their manufacturing efficiency.
The ITC will provide supporting services to Thai SMEs, anticipating 400-500 companies joining this year.
Japanese investors are reported to be focusing on improvements in four segments in Thailand: logistics, raw materials, biochemicals and new investment in the flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme. The Thai Government is promoting the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development plan as one of the key measures to realise the Thailand 4.0 vision, which aims to help the country escape the middle-income trap, achieve sustainable growth and reduce income disparities.
(Sources: Bangkok Post)
One of the leaders in commercial laundry equipment, Alliance Laundry Systems, has announced that the company will build a USD 50 million manufacturing plant in the Hemaraj industrial estate, known as HESIE 2, in Chon Buri province. The plant is set to be completed in early 2019. In the first phase the plant is expected to produce up to 32,000 units per year. Once completed, the plant will be the main supplier for all countries in APAC
The company chose Thailand, which was picked because of its strong infrastructure, excellent geography, skilled workforce as well as an extensive supplier base. Choosing Thailand was a strategic decision, as its sales to Asia Pacific have been the fastest growing in the world, with tremendous growth opportunities in verticals such as hospitality, healthcare and institutions.
(Sources: The Nation; Bangkok Post)
Mercedes-Benz Cars is enhancing its manufacturing footprint in South-East Asia and addressing the growing demand for electric mobility in the region. Together with local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP), the German carmaker will invest a total of over EUR 100 million (USD 119.8 million) in the production operations in Bangkok until 2020. The investment will go into an extension of the existing car plant and into a new battery assembly built on the site ensuring availability of cutting-edge technology for electrified and “EQ Power” Plug-In Hybrid vehicles produced in Thailand.
The battery production in Bangkok will be part of the global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars for local demand and export. In 2017, thanks to a double-digit growth rate Mercedes-Benz achieved its highest ever unit sales in Thailand with more than 14,000 units sold. The best-selling models were the E-Class Saloon, the C-Class Saloon and the CLA Coupé. Mercedes-Benz Thailand currently offers a range of nine locally-assembled models.
Crucial for the success story of Mercedes-Benz in Thailand is the close cooperation of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Thailand and partner TAAP, who operates the plant in Bangkok. In 2017 alone, TAAP produced over 12,000 cars for Mercedes-Benz. The plant currently employs over 1.000 people. It is expected that, once completed, the investment will create more than 300 additional jobs at the site, thereof nearly 100 for battery production alone.
Australian battery company Redflow Limited has received in Australia the first battery electrode stacks made by its new Thailand facility. The battery stack is the critical part of the Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow battery, containing electrodes that charge the battery by “plating” zinc on a membrane and then discharge it by reversing that process, which can sustain 10 kilowatt-hours of energy storage capacity for the battery’s operating life.
These complete batteries would be tested and then supplied to customers to meet existing orders. The company aims to produce fully tested new batteries ‘end-to-end’ in its Thai production line before June 2018. Once fully operational and orders warrant it, the manufacturing line should be able to manufacture up to 250 complete batteries a month.
The company selected Thailand as its preferred country of manufacture and has signed a three-year lease on a 1500-square-metre building at the Hemaraj Chonburi Industrial Estate. Redflow’s progressive commissioning of production from its factory in Thailand is the latest step in a strategic redirection announced in 2017 that aims to build high-quality zinc-bromine flow batteries closer to its most lucrative markets in Australia, Oceania and Southern Africa as well as to reduce production costs.
(Sources: Redflow Limited; Manufacturers' Monthly)
Thailand is one of the largest producer and exporter of food in South East Asia. The country’s food product exports reached USD 24 billion in 2016 and is expected to amount to USD 26.6 billion in 2018, making it the food processing and distribution center in the region. As consumer demand rises and diversifies, Thai food manufacturers are looking at automation to increase production and offer more food choices.
Collaborative robots, or cobots, is an automation technology that is seen to gain traction for food manufacturers as it helps reduce production cost, increase productivity through optimization of processes all while maintaining quality standards. Compared to traditional robots, cobots have enhanced inbuilt safety features, making it perfectly safe for people to work in close proximity. These safety features eliminate the need for fencing and bulky barriers (subject to risk assessments). Its ergonomic design also makes them lightweight and compact. Cobots can be operated within small and confined spaces and as a result, cobots have found their way into food manufacturing industries around the world. Their precision, flexibility and safety make them capable of handling different tasks ranging from simple pick and place and palletising applications, to aiding in testing and development.
(Source: The Nation)
German company Grohe, one of the leaders for sanitary fittings, has announced its plans to invest in the expansion of its zinc manufacturing facility plant in Klaeng, Rayong province, in order to support the growth of luxury sanitary utensils in the country. The new facility occupies 12,000 square meters of land, offering space for a full-scale production of one-hand mixers. By 2021, the capacity in Klaeng will increase to 12 million parts each year.
Another German player, Bosch, a leading supplier of technology and services, has begun building its third Thai manufacturing plant, also in the Rayong province, in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate. The plants will manufacture a wide range of products, including components for gasoline and diesel engines, electric and compressed natural gas drives, and fuel cells for the local and global market. The facility also includes a R&D center.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; The Nation)
ABB has officially opened a new facility, ABB Robotics Machine-Tending Limited (RMT), to produce machine-tending robotics, in Rayong, Thailand. Under the Thailand 4.0 initiative, the robotics industry is a key element in raising productivity in other industries. Machine tending will play a key role in supporting robotics in a variety of industries, including the mold and die casting, machinery and automotive industries. The project encourages business owners to adapt and adjust to new technologies and innovations over the next five years.
RMT will provide support for product processes that call for automated machine-tending, such as using robots to feed components to lathes and mills. ABB combines its portfolios of more than 800 machine-tending call systems with dedicated machine-tending software, which can reduce the engineering costs that are the most significant expense associated with installing a new machine.
(Sources: ABB; ScandAsia)
Many of the world's biggest car makers rely on Thai factories and workers to power their regional production. Attractive new enticements under the 4.0 policy promise to bring next-gen automotive industry to Thailand, with world-class companies like BMW investing in advanced battery factories, and various other companies working on advancements in electric, solar and hydrogen car technologies. More recently, Thailand's Board of Investment has approved two new projects:
Toyota Motor Thailand Company Limited: Expansion project of the manufacture of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) with a production capacity of 70,000 cars, 70,000 batteries and 9.1 million vehicle parts, such as doors, bumpers, and front/rear axles, per year. The project has an investment value of THB 19 billion (USD 573 million) and is located in Gateway City Industrial Estate, Chachoengsao province. The project will support about THB 13.3 billion (USD 401 million) use of local content.
Triumph Motorcycles (Thailand) Company Limited: Expansion project of the assembly of motorcycles (500 cc engine displacement or above) with a production capacity of 120,000 units per year, an investment value of THB 3.3 billion (USD 99.5 million). Located in Amata Industrial Estate, Chonburi province, the project will support about THB 3.7 billion (USD 111.6 million) use of local content per year. It will also collaborate with educational institutions and dual vocational training in science and technology fields in knowledge transferring as well as provide an employee training program in the UK.
(Source: Board of Investment, Thailand)
Australian battery manufacturer Redflow Limited has established a production factory in Thailand to manage the production of its zinc-bromine flow batteries in South East Asia. Currently, Redflow is negotiating a lease within a Thai free trade zone and is seeking for Thai licensing and regulatory approvals.
Redflow’s decision to move its manufacturing base from Mexico to South East Asia is part of its plan to cut production costs by 30% within 18 months and to be in close proximity to its main markets in Australia, Oceania, and southern Africa. As well as its location, close to Redflow's supply chain and marketplaces, Moreover, Thailand offers good manufacturing expertise, competitive logistics, an attractive labor cost and effective tax treatment for international manufacturers within its free trade zone structure.
(Sources: Red Flow; The Advertiser)
Chinese Tire manufacturer Double Coin has announced that construction has completed on its new advanced manufacturing facility in Thailand and production will begin soon on truck and bus, OTR and industrial tires for the North American market. Built on a 3.6 million square-foot site, the new facility is set to manufacture more than 2.5 million TBR tires and 50,000 OTR tires annually. Manufacturing and material transfer in the plant are automated, with the entire plant controlled by the MES software (Manufacturing Execution System) and integrated with SAP management system. The project is designed according to the Industry 4.0 concept. This is a level of automation that reduces the number of employees in the factory to half of what is needed in a traditional tire factory and ensures the quality of the products produced is more stable and reliable. This is Double Coin’s first manufacturing plant outside of China and one of a total of six plants. The state-of-the-art facility is owned by Huayi Group (Thailand) Co. Ltd., and operates in the Luckchai Rubber Industrial City Hub, which is located in Thailand’s Rayong Province.
(Source: Double Coin)
Harley-Davidson, the iconic motorcycle brand, is building a plant in Rayong, Thailand, as it seeks new buyers in Asia and lowers tariffs. The factory is the third that Harley has built outside the United States, and is expected to be operational by late 2018. Thailand currently imposes a 60% import tariff on foreign motorbikes, which is one of the factors that led Harley to decide to build a plant in Thailand. This will also allow Harley to take advantage of tax breaks when exporting to nearby neighbours under trade agreements struck by the 10-member ASEAN. It also reduces import distances to China, which is fast emerging as a major market for foreign bike brands.
(Sources: Terra International Realty)
A privately-owned alloy wheel maker, Thai Alloy Manufacturing has outlined its plan to build a THB 1 billion (USD 29.72 million) production plant in Chon Buri to accommodate the increasing domestic and international demand. It is scheduled for operation in late 2017 with the production capacity of 600,000 alloy wheels per year. Nonetheless, the production capacity can be doubled to 1.2 million wheels. The production line will comprise of fully automated machinery.
At present, the company runs three manufacturing facilities in Samut Prakan on an area of 22,400 square meters and it exports to over 20 countries. While 70% of total production is exported, the remaining is sold within the nation.
(Sources: Bangkok Post, Just Auto)
The manufacturing sector in Thailand encountered a contraction in April 2017, for the first time since November 2016, due to a decline in new orders and production. The Nikkei-Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for Thailand came in at 49.8 in April as compared to 50.2 in March which is below the 50-point line separating expansion from contraction.
The business confidence in this sector remains low and growth in new orders decelerated to a five-month low. In addition, input costs increased, though at a slower pace compared to the previous month due to higher raw material prices and higher import taxes.
(Sources: Financial Times, Machinery Market)
Pandora Production Company, one of the world’s largest jewelry manufacturer and exporter is investing over THB 9 billion (USD 267.49 million) to increase its production capacity in Thailand over a five-year period (2015-2019). Its plan is to implement three key strategic initiatives to support increasing global demand for jewelry, which includes a new production facility in Lamphun, a new crafting facility in Bangkok and reconstruction and optimization of its existing facilities at the Gemopolis Industrial Estate. The aim is to double its production capacity from 2015 to produce over 200 million pieces annually by 2019 as well as to promote the Thai jewelry industry at the global level. In additional, the company hopes that this expansion will create over 20,000 jobs for Thai people.
(Sources: The Nation, Rough Polished)
Bridgestone Corporation of Japan has won Board of Investment (BoI) approval to invest USD 180 million to expand its factory in Thailand that produces tires for aircraft. Once completed, the factory will be capable of rolling out 109,000 tires each year and serve as the company’s hub for tire production in the region. It will complement the government’s plan to make Thailand the center for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul in the region under the Thailand 4.0 national development strategy to achieve a more advanced economy.
(Sources: Royal Thai Embassy, Washington DC)
BMW, the German luxury car maker has started increasing the range of locally produced PHEV models at BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand. There are 9 models of BMW produced, as well as 1 Mini model (Country man) and 9 BMW motorcycle models.
This assembly plant is 75,000 square meters and it is the only international production site to assemble vehicles for all 3 brands: BMW, Mini, and BMW Motorrad. THB 2.6 billion (USD 77.27 million) was invested to construct this plant and in 2015, an additional THB 1.1 billion (USD 32.69) was used to expand the plant.
Out of the 9 car models produced, there are 2 PHEVS - the X3 hybrid and X5 hybrid which are exported. The production for BMW and Mini added to the total of 6,087 units last year. In addition, 9,600 units of the X3 hybrid and X5 hybrid were produced for export to China. According to the managing director of BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand, Jeffrey Gaudiano, Thailand assembly plant will be expanding its capability to cover the assembly of PHEVs such as the BMW 330e Luxury and BMW X5 xDrive40e M Sport.
(Sources: The Nation, BMW Thailand)
Among the “Mighty Five Manufacturers” namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Vietnam, it appears that Thailand is the leading manufacturing destination. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, manufacturing exports in Thailand were worth USD 167 billion in 2014. The main contribution to this achievement is the highly literate, skilled workforce and the high labor productivity.
Thailand remains an ideal prospect for foreign investors. Many government policies are created to boost the attractiveness of foreign investment by promoting liberalization and spur free trade, particularly in areas that help to improve local skill sets, facilitate technology transfer and promote innovation. Specifically, the government offers manufacturers tax holidays of up to 10 years as well as other tax exemptions and preferential import duties. Moreover, any capital goods and raw materials used to produce export-oriented items have low duty regime. The country’s manufacturing sector is particularly engaged in electronics, canned goods, plastics, jewelry, electric appliances, furniture, toys, computers and parts. It is also moving towards integrated circuits, machinery, automobiles and automotive parts sectors.
(Sources: HKTDC Research, CBRE)
Bridgestone, Japanese tire manufacturer has outlined its plan to construct 2 new manufacturing plants in Thailand. While one plant will manufacture aircraft tires, the other one will be producing retread aircraft tires. There will be an investment of approximately USD 150 million to build these plants and they are scheduled to start production in December 2019.
(Sources: World Construction Network, Bridgestone)
Chinese home appliance manufacturer Haier Group plans to invest THB 300 million (USD 8.92 million) in Thailand in 2017, on R&D to support its production of high-end products for the country. The move is in line with the company’s strategy to localise its products to serve consumer demand better. Currently Haier has one refrigerator factory, one air-conditioner factory, one washing-machine factory, and one freezer factory in Thailand. It also has an R&D department in the Kingdom. According to Haier Asia, Thailand was an intensely competitive market, and the company forecasts that more Chinese home-appliance brands would enter the country.
(Source: The Nation)
Ford Motor Company has officially announced its production for the segment-defining Ranger pickup truck at its Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) facility to satisfy an increasing demand across the Asia Pacific Region.
The Ranger is also built at Ford’s joint-venture facility, AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), the company’s main production facility for Ranger in Asia Pacific. Due to the forecast by AAT that the operation will be reaching its maximum capacity in the near future, Ford invested an additional USD 186 million in the FTM facility to allow for growth in Ranger production. The Ranger is Ford’s best selling pickup truck in the Asia Pacific region and as for Thailand, it continues to gain segment share since the all-new Ranger was launched in 2011.
Ford is one of the largest automotive investors in Thailand, having invested a total of more than USD 2.7 billion between its wholly owned and joint venture manufacturing facilities. It currently employs approximately 10,000 people in Thailand.
(Sources: Ford Online, paultan.org)
Mazda Motor Corporation has outlined its plan to increase its annual production capacity at its engine assembly plant in Chonburi, Thailand from 30,000 units to 100,000 units in the first half on 2018. In addition, the company will construct a new engine machining facility with a similar capacity at Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MPMT).
MPMT produces SKYACTIV-D 1.5 litre clean diesels and SKYACTIV-G 1.3 petrol engines for use in Mazda2s manufactured at the nearby Auto Alliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd. facility. Mazda will be investing EUR 193 million to raise its engine capacity. The new engine machining plant, meanwhile, will enhance Mazda’s system for comprehensive production in Thailand that includes vehicle bodies, engines and transmissions. The company will add the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 to the range of powerplants produced there, and begin exporting engine to its vehicle production sites in Malaysia and Vietnam.
(Sources: Mazda Press, Automotive World)
According to Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), Thailand is the leading country in ASEAN in automotive market, which paves way for growth in robotics industry. There has been an increase in interest from foreign investors in both automotive and robotics industries as well as other firms that offer technology and supply chain products to these industries.
Robotics’ role in automotive manufacturing is growing, hence, the robotics industry in Thailand is projected to rise as the vehicle manufacturing industry in the country continues to expand to meet the rising demand of trucks, cars and motorcycles.
In 2016, the imports of industrial robotics and automation systems in Thailand are estimated at USD 47.3 million. According to a study conducted by International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the employment figures in 2015 are forecasted to double from about 7,500 employees to over 15,000. Furthermore, the study shows that yearly shipments of multi-purpose robots to the country will rise over 133% for use in electronics and automotive industries.
At present, there are over 60 companies producing robotic and automation machinery in Thailand namely Eureka Automation, CT Asia Robotic, Yukata Robot Systems, Ryoei, and Robosis. As part of the Thai Government’s Super Cluster and incentives polity, it is offering companies the maximum inventive up to 8 years of corporate income tax exemption plus a 50% income tax reduction and import duty on machinery and raw material.
(Sources: Thailand Board of Investment, Machining News)