General Motors GM, a large United States-based automaker, expects to expand its new production base of “medium sized- pick up Chevrolet” in Thailand with the aim of exporting to Europe and some ASEAN countries. GM has just got an approval for a loan of 1.35 trillion THB from Tisco and Thai Commercial banks for the credit term of seven years.
GM plans to extend its production of midsize pickups Chevrolet Colorado and compact cars Chevrolet Aveo in Rayong province with at least 80,000 units this year from 39,800 units produced last year. Another plant to be constructed in Rayong is meant for diesel engines and auto parts production, according to Mr Martin Apfel, the President of GM South East Asia. GM has just got an approval for a loan of 1.35 trillion THB from Tisco and Thai Commercial banks for the credit term of seven years.
Earlier this week Ford Motor Company’s announced that it will invest more in the kingdom according to a senior Board of Investment (BOI) official. BOI deputy secretary-general Ajarin Pattanapanchai said more investment by Ford Motor Co. in Thailand’s eastern province of Rayong will give provide good opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises producing automotive spare parts as well as boosting business confidence here.
President and chief executive Alan Mulally announced last week that Ford will invest Bt15 billion (US$450 million) in the Rayong industrial estate to build its new sedan factory. The industrial unit is set to be completed in 2012 and will produce the new 2012 Ford Focus for the Thai market as well as for export to other Asia-Pacific markets.
Ford Asia Pacific and Africa president Joe Hinrichs said production capacity is set at 150,000 units annually for the new factory, and 85 per cent maximum of cars manufactured will be for export. The next-generation Focus will be built on the company’s new global C-car platform, which will eventually underpin up to two million Ford vehicles per year sold in markets around the world. The C-car segment is currently the world’s largest vehicle segment, and is projected to account for nearly 28 percent of global passenger car sales by 2013.
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) further pushes Thailand to become one of the automobile manufacturing hubs in Asia after the board agreed in the meeting hold on 10 June 2009 to expand incentives scheme to cover new-type automobiles. BOI promotes new incentive scheme for new automobile types to attract foreign direct investment in automobile sector. The decision aims to attract international auto makers to move their manufacturing base to Thailand.
“In today’s economic crisis, the automobile industries are restructuring their production lines in order to increase market competitiveness by reducing the number of their plants and conducting all manufacturing activities in one place. By locating their manufacturing base in the Southeast Asian region, the industries can effectively supply the demands within the region. The BOI incentive aims to encourage investors to move their manufacturing base to Thailand. It also aims to expand investment opportunities in the automotive sector which will benefit the automobile parts industries in Thailand in the long term,”
said Mr. Chanchai of BOI.
Thailand is set to benefit tremendously from the elimination of import duties on automobiles and parts under the Asean Free Trade Area scheme, industry leaders say. The 5-per cent tax on automobiles and parts traded among the six founding Asean countries -Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia – was abolished on January 1, in a move towards turning Asean into a single market.This would help Asean nations become more competitive against other Asian giants – particularly China and India.