Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Suzuki Thailand bets big on eco-car export upsurge

Via Bangkok Post:

Chon Buri: Japanese car maker Suzuki Motor Corporation is revving up eco-car exports to offset the bearish mood of the saturated local market, aiming to ship 4,000 units a month.

"Some 1,000 units a month of the Suzuki Swift, the first eco-car, have been exported since late 2013 to Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, while 3,000 units of the Suzuki Celerio will be shipped monthly to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands," said Suzuki Motor Thailand president Takayuki Sugiyama.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mitsubishi Motors will produce a new pickup for Fiat from 2016

Via Reuters:

Mitsubishi Motors will produce a new pickup for Fiat from 2016 in a deal to boost the Italian carmaker's commercial vehicle sales and raise output at the Japanese company's plant in Thailand.

According to a non-binding memorandum of understanding unveiled on Friday, the companies will team up to develop and manufacture the pickup which would be supplied by Mitsubishi and based on its best-selling model, the L200.

The mid-sized pickup, a long-promised addition to Fiat's Professional line-up, is one of five new light commercial vehicles it plans to deliver as part of its ambition to boost the division's sales by 40 percent to some 600,000 cars by 2018.

Mitsubishi's L200 pickup competes around the world against models such as Toyota's Hilux, Nissan's Navara and similar-sized pickups from Ford, Isuzu, Mazda and Volkswagen, among others.

The new pickup truck is meant to help Fiat increase its share of the Latin American market and help turnaround its loss-making business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, it will probably do little to boost the carmaker's presence in Asia, which remains the main weak spot for the group.

It will help the Japanese automaker maintain production levels at its hard-hit plant in Thailand, where the company is facing a drop in sales and production due to a political crisis and declining demand for cars.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coming soon: Thailand Automotive 2022 – Industry Intelligence

Turning Insights about the Future into Functional Consequences Today

The Thai automotive industry, also known as the Detroit of Asia, is the nation’s success story, as it has been a main contributor towards Thai economic development being the country’s biggest export industry (Thai Automotive Institute, 2012 p. 2-25). 

In 2013, Thailand stressed its position as a big automotive player by becoming the 9th largest car manufacturer  globally with a total production of 2.45 million cars of which about 1 million were exported (The Economist, 2013). 

Car sales growth figures of annually 13% in the Asia pacific region while there is negative growth in North America and only 1% growth in Europe (Siam Commercial Bank, 2013) stress the importance of the South East Asian car market in which Thailand is currently the leader. 

So far mostly Japanese manufacturers have discovered Thailand as an ideal production base to mostly serve the growing ASEAN area consisting of about 600 million people. 

Nevertheless, it is incontestable that it is vital for every car manufacturer to be prepared for the future development of the Thai automotive industry since it offers a rare, yet appealing twofold opportunity- on one side as a potential sales market and on the other side as an attractive sourcing and production base to serve global demand. 

That’s exactly where the following report begins: The overall objective of this study is to provide an industry intelligence report on how the Thai automotive industry may look like in 2022 by conducting an online Delphi study with local industry experts followed by an in depth scenario analysis. Thereby, it is aimed to give new insights, which, if correctly interpreted and further developed can result in strategic advantages. 

The intention is to support senior executives and corporate strategy managers who are already involved in the industry or considering entering it, in their strategy development and decision making for the Thai automotive market. 

This study is divided into four major parts:
  1. Research methodology: This part includes a theoretical background on Emerging Markets (including Thailand), Delphi study methodology, PEST framework and the scenario development framework
  2. Projections: The projections and their essence are then introduced and explained
  3. Results of the Delphi study: The quantitative and qualitative results of the Delphi study are presented in detail
  4. Scenario Development: Development of sound scenarios for the Thai automotive industry in 2022. This part is a combination of the analysis of the dynamics of industry development and the qualitative and quantitative results of the Delphi study. Further, an estimated likelihood is assigned to each scenario along with the most important implications for industry stakeholders.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Volkswagen to build a factory worth $140 million in Indonesia

Via Economic Times:

German carmaker Volkswagen AG plans to build a factory worth $140 million in Cikarang in 2015, said Jonas Cendana, a director at Volkswagen Indonesia.

He added that the plan to build the factory, which was scheduled to come up this year, has been delayed due to the weakening of rupiah against the euro and political uncertainty. 

P.C.S. considers expansion from pickup truck parts

Via Bangkok Post:

P.C.S. Machine Group Holding Plc (PCSGH), a SET-listed auto parts manufacturer, is mulling an expansion to cover other types of vehicles and curb risk from being too reliant on pickup trucks.

"Though pickup trucks are still growing in both the domestic and export market, we expect to expand to supply parts to passenger cars and eco-cars, which should be churned out in the foreseeable future once the the production in the second phase of the eco-car scheme is in place," said chief executive Prasong Adulratananukul.

Some 96% of P.C.S.'s revenue comes from parts orders from pickup truck makers such as Isuzu, Chevrolet, Mazda and Ford.

The company makes components for engines, transmissions, final drives and steering for pickup trucks. P.C.S. is a tier-1 and tier-2 supplier.

P.C.S. also secures auto parts orders from truck manufacturer Volvo and big-bike makers Triumph and Ducati.

Mr Prasong said the auto parts industry was expected to drop in line with the falling automotive industry, which has been hit by lower consumer spending, political chaos in the first half of the year and an absence of new incentives to stimulate purchases.

P.C.S. achieved first-half revenue of 2.13 billion baht, down by 26% year-on year, for a net profit of 438 million, down by 56%.

Mitsubishi may invest US$1 billion in auto business

Via Jakarta Post:

Major Japanese trading house, the Mitsubishi Corporation, plans to invest up to US$1 billion in Indonesia to strengthen its automotive business, a minister has said.

The figure would be added to the $7 billion investment that Mitsubishi has poured into Indonesia between 2006 and 2014, including for the Donggi-Senoro liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Banggai, Central Sulawesi, according to Industry Minister MS Hidayat.

“Mitsubishi will launch its automotive project within the next two months,” he said Tuesday, declining to elaborate further.

The plan was revealed during a meeting between senior Mitsubishi executives, led by advisor Mikio Sasaki, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, together with president elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Monday, September 8, 2014

VW Capacity Plan Thailand 2019

VW Thailand Capacity Plan 2019

This is how the capacity plan for VW could look like according to insiders and media reports. The plan is to start CKD production for up to 60,000 vehicles as soon as next year and set up a full blown manufacturing plant for 300,000 units latest 2019.

VW to invest 1 bln euros in Thai plant

Via Reuters: Volkswagen plans to invest 1 billion euros ($1.30 billion) to build a new manufacturing plant to produce fuel efficient cars in Thailand, a German magazine said on Saturday.

The Thai government is expected to grant Volkswagen approval for the plant on Tuesday, Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported, without citing sources.

The plant, which will build 1.4 litre petrol engine cars and which could turn out up to 300,000 vehicles per year at full capacity, is due to go on line by 2019, the magazine said, adding that part of the production would be destined for other markets in the region.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thailand set to approve Volkswagen factory

Via Straits Times:

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thailand is set to approve the construction of a Volkswagen factory near the port of Bangkok, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing the Thai investment authority BOI.

A decision from the authority could come as early as next week, the paper said on Monday.

The investment, under Thailand's "Eco2" programme, would secure tax and customs advantages for Volkswagen if it builds fuel efficient cars, provided the factory produces more than 100,000 vehicles and comes on stream by 2019.