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Nissan Motor’s Chinese plant cuts production amid parts shortage

Production at a Nissan Motor plant in China dwindled dramatically two weeks after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disrupted the supply of key auto parts, sources with the company said Saturday. Workers at a Dongfeng Nissan plant in central China’s Hubei Province told reporters that Saturday’s production level at the assembly workshop dropped to less than one-third of the normal level.

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Production at a Nissan Motor plant in China dwindled dramatically two weeks after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disrupted the supply of key auto parts, sources with the company said Saturday.

Workers at a Dongfeng Nissan plant in central China’s Hubei Province told reporters that Saturday’s production level at the assembly workshop dropped to less than one-third of the normal level.

“We used to assemble 304 cars a day, but today our plan is set at 82,” said a worker who declined to give his name.

“And our work time was cut to half a day to accommodate the production,” he added.

Japanese automotive joint ventures in China get 60 to 70 percent of their parts locally, while key parts like engines and transmissions are imported from Japan.

Many Japanese car manufacturers shut down operations after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged factories and infrastructure and delayed shipments of raw materials.

Dongfeng Nissan, a joint venture with China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp., previously said that it had enough parts in its inventory to sustain production for the rest of March, but supplies for April were uncertain.

The joint venture churned out more than 700,000 Nissan-brand vehicles in 2010, accounting for about 60 percent of Dongfeng Motor’s total output.

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Nissan Motor’s Chinese venture cuts production amid worsening parts shortage

Thailand enjoys a strategic location and serves as a gateway into the heart of Asia – home to what is today the largest growing economic market.

The country also offers convenient trade with China, India and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and easy access into the Greater Mekong sub-region, where newly emerging markets offer great business potential.

Hub of ASEAN

Thailand was one of the founding members of ASEAN and has been instrumental in the formation and development of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
AFTA entered into force on 1 January 2010 for the six original ASEAN (ASEAN-6) members (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Brunei), thereby reducing import duties to zero; the so-called CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) will follow suit in 2015.

The Thai auto industry has grown from its infancy with just one automotive assembly plant in 1961 to a mature world- class production center currently ranking 13th globally. Nearly all of the world’s major automakers, assemblers, and parts and components manufacturers have established production operations in the country.

In fact, Thailand produced more than 1.4 million vehicles in 2008, and the lions share came from the local facilities of Ford, General Motors, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Toyota, Isuzu, Honda and Nissan.

The country is well on the way to achieving performance goals set by the Thai government in a master plan formulated in the past decade for the automotive industry’s development. This includes substantial progress toward becoming Asia’s automotive production base, gaining global competitiveness, reaching output targets for passenger cars, pickup trucks and motorcycles, and achieving international recognition as a center for replacement equipment manufacturing or REM parts.

Thailand’s domestic automobile sales in October rose by 35.2 per cent year-on-year to 72,012 units, up 5.49 per cent from September, marking the highest level in the past 10 months, according to the auto industry.

Surapong Paisitpattanapong, spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Automotive Industry Club, said on Wednesday that the continual growth in domestic car sale was thanks to the Thai economic recovery due to the government’s stimulus package ‘Thai Khem Kaeng’ (Strong Thailand) scheme, as well as the rising price of agricultural produce, growing exports, and the tourism industry.

Thailand has forged close economic cooperation with other ASEAN member nations, and Thai manufactured products and services have access to their markets, which includes all 10 ASEAN countries. ASEAN is home to more than half a billion people, GDP in excess of US$1.5 trillion and total trade of well more than US$1 trillion per year.

Social and political stability

Thailand is a foreigner friendly and welcoming Buddhist country. The country’s form of government is a constitutional monarchy, with a high reverence for the Thai Monarchy, and devotion to the teachings of Buddhism. And although the vast majority of the people in Thailand are Buddhist, all religions are welcome, and His Majesty the King is the patron of all religions.

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