Thursday, December 26, 2013

Honda moving to the top spot?

HONDA IS POISED to win the Thai passenger-car crown for the first time in history after leading arch-rival Toyota in sales during the first 11 months of this year.

But there are complications that could affect Honda's outstanding performance with just a few days left in 2013, and it is about the way various car models are classified.

According to figures from Toyota Motor Thailand Co, which is normally quoted by the media as the designated auto-sales compiler, passenger-car sales figures do not include models such as the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5, which TMT classifies as commercial vehicles. However, both the CR-V and CX-5, although seen as sport-utility vehicles, are taxed as passenger cars.

The passenger-car tally from Toyota states that Honda was the leader in the segment during the first 11 months with sales of 178,973 units, while Toyota was second with 172,916 units.


Thailand Automotive Statistics November 2013

Thailand Automotive Statistics November 2013Automotive Sales Statistics for November 2013 have been released - along with total production, local & export sales, published by Toyota Thailand and the FTI.

And 2014 - same same or different? 

Analysts and FTI both assume that 2014 will be about the same as 2013, I believe that overall production and export should see further growth as new capacities from existing and new players come online.

In the mid-term Thailand will certainly benefit from:

  • local growth - Thailand is now an upper middle income country (World Bank) and it's domestic sales can be expected to grow at twice the rate of GDP, so about 9%
  • growth in the middle east - where Thailand also has a strong market share
  • more upcoming world wide programs - such as the Mitsubishi Mirage which is exported globally - even to the US and Japan
  • and last not least - the demise of the Australian auto industry which has gone into full self-destruct mode. 2 out of 3 remaining OEM's have announced plant closures within the next 3-4 years and Australia (and NZ) belong to the Thailand's main export countries...

You can download the statistics here for unlimited personal an professional use.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Toyota to localize small volume of Vios cars in Indonesia


County president cites strong demand, growing middle-class as production of all-new Vios starts in West Java plant

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) has started producing its all-new Vios at the company's plant in Karawang, West Java, as it gradually moves its production base from Thailand to Indonesia.

The company, which usually imports the Vios compact sedan from Thailand, has spent 2.5 trillion rupiah (Bt6.7 billion) in initial capital on its expansion in Indonesia.

TMMIN president-director Masahiro Nonami said the persistently strong demand for cars in Indonesia, driven by its growing middle-class segment, had attracted his company to make the country a Vios production base.

"We see Indonesia as one of the most important markets for automotive products among other Southeast Asian countries," he told a press conference at the plant on Wednesday, the first day of the local production of the Vios.

"The Vios production base in Karawang can absorb some 500 workers to our plant," he said.

The company plans to produce 1,000 Vios sedans every month. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Auto production shifting to slower lane

Via Bangkok Post:

Car output is forecast to slightly increase to 2.55 million next year, boosted by exports and stable domestic sales, according to the automotive industry club of the Federation of Thai Industries. Chairman Suparat Sirisuwannangkura yesterday said Thailand should end this year with output of 2.481 million units, up by 1.14% from a year earlier.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thai Auto firms jostling for workers

Small and mid-size automobile businesses in Thailand are locked in an escalating battle for workers with big carmakers.

"Toyota is an important customer, but it’s poaching workers from us with generous bonuses," said the manager of a small Japanese autoparts supplier in Thailand, after a college graduate the company had trained left the job after only a year to join a local Toyota affiliate.

Toyota Motor Thailand stunned the industry this year by offering annual bonuses of roughly 10 months’ pay to its labour union.

The union’s position was fortified by the booming home market. The Thai government’s two-year tax relief programme for first-time car buyers drove new-vehicle sales in the country to an all-time high in 2012. This kept Japanese automakers, which account for more than 90 per cent of the market, running their local factories at full capacity towards the first half of the year.

Following in Toyota’s footsteps, other carmakers and auto-part suppliers offered similar bonuses. This encouraged workers at smaller Japanese auto-part makers to jump ship to Toyota and other firms.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thailand Elections to boost Automotive Industry

Via Bangkok Post:

The local automotive market is expected to receive a shot in the arm next year after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the House and called a general election.
"The elections will definitely spur demand for vehicles, particularly for pickup trucks and motorcycles," said a source from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
"A spending spree during the election will also give a boost to overall domestic car sales."
Earlier, the FTI forecast Thailand's domestic car sales next year would remain static at 1.35 to 1.4 million units, while this year sales are estimated at 1.36 million.
Over the first 10 months, domestic car sales stood at 1,123,268 vehicles, down by 1.8% year-on-year.
The FTI said the new election and higher spending both by the government and political parties will provide an impetus to the industry, spurring local sales to exceed earlier forecasts.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Philippines: What's wrong with their Automotive Roadmap?

Via Interaksyon:

A Japanese executive of Isuzu Philippines Corp has openly criticized the Aquino administration's roadmap for the automotive industry, saying the path the government wants car makers to take is "impossible".

Takashi Tomita, Isuzu Philippines' executive vice president, told reporters on Tuesday that the proposed roadmap for the industry would not encourage growth and jobs generation--something that is sorely needed in a country that has a jobless rate of 6.5 percent as of the third quarter.

When asked if Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo is pushing the auto industry in the wrong direction, Tomita said: "Yes. It's completely wrong."

He said the target of making 40,000 units per model for each car manufacturer to be able to enjoy incentives from the government is "impossible" to reach given the high cost of building automobiles in the Philippines.

In pictures: The 30th Thailand International Motor Expo

Via Gizmag including a review on 'The importance of the Thai market on the global stage':

Thailand has two major auto shows on its calender, being the Bangkok Auto Show in March and the Thailand International Auto Expo in early December, and as Thailand continues its rise as both a global top 10 national consumer and producer of automobiles, the two shows held in the "Detroit of the East" grow in importance every year.

A pimped out tuk-tuk with a massive sound system at the Thai Motor ExpoThailand is now addressing the challenges of creating an EV charging infrastructure with t...One of the more eccentric-looking vehicles at the show was this amphibious electric PWC de...Hyunda's hydrogen-powered experimental fuel-cell HND-6View all
The 30th Thailand International Motor Expo has been running this week, with the highlight being the world premier of the Suzuki A:Wind concept, so named because Suzuki believes the car will bring a wind of change to the A-segment.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Honda now using rail for Thai-Malaysia parts transport

Via Paul Tan:

Honda Malaysia has switched to rail-based transport for delivery of parts between Thailand and Malaysia, via Thailand National Railways (SRT) and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM). With this move, HM becomes the first Honda outpost to switch to rail-based delivery for optimal logistics.

Honda Malaysia’s production volume is anticipated to increase from the current 50,000 units to 100,000 units annually by 2016. Currently, 25 to 30 containers are being transported from Thailand to Malaysia on a daily basis. And this is expected to increase to 120 containers per day in line with HM’s future production plans.

This initiative is also in line with Honda’s global environmental target of 30% reduction in CO2 emissions by Honda products by 2020. Just by changing the mode of transportation from trucks/ships to trains, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 60%. Honda says that rail is also more cost effective (logistics cost to be halved within two years), with lower logistic risks, wastage and damages. KTM uses a GPS tracking system.

Delivery time will be shortened, too. It takes 2.5 days for goods to be delivered from Thailand to Malaysia via rail, half a day faster than using trucks. Shipping takes seven days. This helps increase efficiency and shorten the waiting period for customers, and Honda gets to reduce stock in hand by six days.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear Accounted for Over 70% Tyre Sales in Thailand

Infrastructure improvement, ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) membership and anticipated growth of automobile sales are the leading growth drivers of Thailand’s tyre market in the next five years
The tyre industry in Thailand is expected to witness notable growth, reaching up to around USD 17 Billion revenues by the end of 2018, according to the recently published TechSci Research report “Thailand Tyre Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2018”. Thailand’s tyre market is largely dominated by the likes of Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear, however, other companies such as Yokohama, Sumitomo and Continental tyres are giving tough competition to global tyre players.

Thailand’s automotive industry is one of the biggest and growing markets of South-East Asian region. Bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with various countries, such as India, China, Japan, Australia, etc., have enhanced the competitive edge of Thailand’s automotive industry. The major automotive companies, such as Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, GM, Ford, Isuzu, etc., have established their manufacturing plants in Thailand, catering to the domestic as well as global market. This has resulted into the growing demand for tyres in the country.

Via Long Island Newsday

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Automakers say govt rushing into Eco-Car project's Phase 2

Automakers who had participated in the eco-car project are not happy with the government's decision to launch Phase 2, claiming it's too soon to introduce it.

The comments came during a seminar organised by the Thai Automotive Journalists Association earlier this week that brought together representatives from the government as well as the industry to exchange views on the Eco-Car Phase 2 project.

Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries and chairman of the Automotive Industry Club, said the eco-car project has been highly successful due to several reasons.

"It was able to win over customers from the motorcycle market, plus the rising fuel prices caused consumers to switch over to more efficient small cars," he said.

Since the project was launched in 2010, some 712,000 vehicles have been produced, with almost half of these being exported (343,000 vehicles exported versus 369,000 for the domestic market). Suparat said the market share of eco-cars has also risen dramatically, from 5 per cent in the passenger car market in 2010 to as much as 27 per cent this year.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Harsh rules put brakes on eco-car project

Via Bangkok Post: Automakers are reluctant to join the eco-car project's second phase because some criteria are quite rigid, a seminar was told yesterday.

The areas they find inflexible involve capital and production conditions. "Convincing the five existing eco-car makers to join the new phase is not easy, as they have to launch products that not only meet the new specifications but also the new excise tax which is due to become effective in January 2016," said Piengjai Kaewsuwan, president of the Thai Automobile Industry Association and chairwoman of the Asean Automotive Federation.

Suzuki presents second Eco-Car to be made in Thailand in 2014

Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor has unveiled its A:Wind concept at the 2013 Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. The new model will serve as a preview for a future A-segment hatchback, which the company plans to introduce in 2014.

To be available in the Energy Yellow color, the new vehicle is equipped with a small 996cc gasoline engine along with continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The new car, which will be manufactured in Thailand in 2014, will mark the company's second car to meet Thailand's eco-car fuel economy standards and will also be exported abroad.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Proton launches the Proton Suprima S in Thailand

The hatchback was unveiled at the 2013 Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok by Datuk Nazirah Hussain, Malaysia Ambassador to Thailand, who was accompanied by the Chief Operating Officer of PROTON, En Hisham Othman. Also present was the Managing Director Mr. Thawatchai Jungsanguanpornsuk Phranakorn Auto Sales. Phranakorn Auto Sales is the sole distributor of Proton cars in Thailand.

Thailand targets to be No. 5 in the World

Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk believes the Thai auto industry could be producing more than 3.4 million vehicles a year by 2017, surpassing the 3-million-a year-target, to become the world's fifth-largest automobile-manufacturing nation.

The Thai government is promoting investment in the production of fuel-efficient subcompact cars under the second-phase eco-car project, which is expected to begin production in 2016 after receiving the Board of Investment promotional privileges next year. 

ZF Opens First Passenger Car Axle Assembly Plant in Malaysia

In November 2013, ZF opened an additional assembly location for passenger car axle sets in the Malaysian city of Kulim, about 350 kilometers north of the capital Kuala Lumpur. Approximately 50 employees will initially assemble axle sets in the new plant on the Malaysian peninsula for the production in the nearby BMW plant.

SAIC-CP plans second Thai factory

SAIC Motor-CP Co, the Chinese-Thai car maker, is conducting a feasibility study about investing in a second plant here as it intends to make Thailand its manufacturing base for right-hand-drive vehicles.

Suzuki Thailand plans to double output in 2014

Suzuki Thailand plans to double the output to 100,000 cars per year in 2014 which will then satisfy the condition of capacity for the eco-car program phase 1.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Honda Plant in Thailand...

Yesterday, Honda Thailand announced a new plant in Prachinburi for 120,000 subcompact cars per year, bringing total production capacity of Honda in Thailand to 420,000 units per year in 2015. Honda has sold about 171,000 cars in 2012 and plans to increase sales to 200,000 cars in 2013.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mazda will set up a new Powertrain Manufacturing facility in Thailand

Mazda will set up a new Powertrain Manufacturing facility in Thailand to produce and sell SkyActiv transmissions for Mazda vehicles with a capacity of 400,000 units/year. SOP will be second half of 2015.