Sunday, June 22, 2014

MG Thailand plans expansion

Via THE NATION: SAIC MOTOR-CP Co, the manufacturer and distributor of MG vehicles in Thailand, is studying plans that could lead to an investment of as much as Bt30 billion-Bt40 billion in a second assembly plant within three years.

Yesterday the company staged a media unveiling of its MG6 at its Bt9 billion plant at the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Chon Buri. The facility on a 30-rai site is capable of producing 50,000 units per year.

Thanakorn Seriburi, vice president of Charoen Pokphand Group, said SAIC Motor-CP targets domestic sales of 200,000 units, or 10 per cent of the market, by the third year of operation.

The second plant would use 500 rai to assemble up to 150,000-200,000 units per year.

The company plans to produce six to seven models in Thailand ranging from passenger cars to SUVs.

Production is targeted at 2,000 units this year with deliveries starting next quarter. But next year output is expected to jump to 14,000 units, as production of the MG3 and MG5 for both domestic and export markets commences.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nissan early with new plant

Via Bangkok Post: Operations at Nissan's second Thai factory will begin next month, ahead of schedule despite the unfavourable economy and political troubles. The plant will produce the 12th generation of pickup trucks, an all-new Nissan NP300 Navara.
"Despite Thailand's political turmoil, we are not putting off operation of the second plant," said Hiroyuki Yoshimoto, president of Nissan Motor (Thailand). "In fact, operations will start one month earlier than scheduled."
Nissan announced in late 2012 its ambitious plan to invest 11 billion baht in a Thai facility, and nearly 10 billion baht was spent on its second factory. The rest was spent on the Nissan Technical Center South East Asia (NTCSEA), the third testing centre outside Japan and an R&D hub for Asean that opened last August.
Nissan acquired 150 rai next to its existing factory on Bang Na-Trat Road in Samut Prakan province to build the second plant, focusing on pickup truck production with an initial output of 75,000 vehicles a year. The new factory is set to open on July 3, and the company plans to double production there to 150,000 units over the next few years.
Nissan's existing plant makes 220,000 pickup trucks and passenger cars a year, and once the second plant is running at full capacity annual production capacity will reach 370,000 vehicles excluding the 60,000 Navara pickup trucks now built at Mitsubishi's factory at Laem Chabang in Chon Buri.
Mr Yoshimoto said Nissan will continue producing the Navara for export only at the Mitsubishi plant to cope with strong global demand. But he added that the company was poised to stop operations at the Mitsubishi plant and move production to the new plant once global demand shrinks.
The company is due to deliver the new NP300 Navara to Thai customers in August, with retail prices and export plans announced on July 3.
Nissan expects sales for the NP300 Navara in the Thai market will number 3,000 units per month.
For this fiscal year starting April 1, Nissan aims at local sales of 100,000 units, up from 74,000 units in fiscal 2013.
Nissan forecast Thailand's overall domestic sales to reach 900,000 to 1 million vehicles this year compared with 1.33 million vehicles in 2013.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Thailand emerging threat to car exports from India

Via dna:

India, a hub for car exports to developed markets, is seeing serious competition from Thailand as production constraints and quality issues force manufacturers to consider production of critical models in the Southeast Asian nation.

Ford India is looking at shifting production of Fiesta, and Japanese manufacturer Suzuki is planning to move production of its newly launched Celerio from India to Thailand for exporting to developed markets, according to sources.

Ford's India unit is unlikely to export company's new compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport to North American markets, whose production will be moved to unit to the US automaker's Thai plant by 2016, according to recent reports.

Experts said EcoSport and Fiesta will mainly be exported to North American markets while Celerio will be exported to Europe.

Mayuree Chaiyuthanaporn, senior analyst, IHS Automotive Asean, who tracks Thailand automotive market, said, "Manufacturers are looking at Thai plants mainly because of India production constraint coupled with the better quality production in Thailand. Reportedly, Ford EcoSport produced in Thailand provide better noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels. Meanwhile, export orders are likely to utilise Thailand's capacity to its maximum."

Thailand is a production base for pickups and small cars, with total capacity expected to reach three million units by 2019, highest in Southeast Asia. The production cost in Thailand can be reduced because of economies of scale. Completely built units (CBUs) export account for around 60% (2013) of total production output, according to IHS Automotive.

Atul Shahane, general manager, vehicle exports, Nissan Motor India, who has worked in Thailand said, "Manufacturing of pickups and small car segments get supported by the government in a big way. Thailand has better infrastructure and technology, while it also has some challenges in terms of political instability and natural calamities. However, quality of production is definitely better there compared with India."

The country also has the highest number of suppliers among Asean countries. The Thai Board Of Investment offers both fiscal and non-tax incentives for investments. Tax sops include exemption or reduction of import duties on machinery and raw materials, and corporate income tax exemptions and reductions.