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Ayutthaya submerged, Thailand’s automotive production stalled

The worst bout of flooding to hit Thailand in decades is wreaking havoc on automotive production in the kingdom, among the many businesses and livelihoods that have been affected.

Boris Sullivan

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The Factory Land Industrial Estate in Ayutthayas Wang Noi district, the last factory in Ayutthaya which had earlier survived flooding, has finally succumbed to flood Sunday.

The worst bout of flooding to hit Thailand in decades is wreaking havoc on automotive production in the kingdom, among the many businesses and livelihoods that have been affected.

A large number of automotive-related companies have fallen victim to the recent bout of flooding, which has inudated huge swathes of the country. Among these are Honda Automobile Thailand, which has been forced to half production at its Ayutthaya plant due to this; the plant remained flooded as of yesterday, and was unapproachable.

Currently, all five industrial estates in Ayutthaya are under water, including four industrial estates – Saha Rattana Nakhon, Bang Pa-in, Rojana, and Hi-Tech – earlier hit by flooding. All five industrial estates are valued at about 200 billion baht in total investment capital and employ more than 200,000 workers.

 

Ayutthaya flooded  industrial estates

All five industrial estates are valued at about 200 billion baht in total investment capital and employ more than 200,000 workers. Picture: MCOT News Thailand

Meanwhile, the National Flood Relief Centre is still confident that Navanakhon Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani can be spared from flooding.Soldiers and workers at the Navanakhon Industrial Estate have hurried to fill sandbags to fortify flood walls in the northern and eastern part of the industrial estate with another 50 centimetre height in order to protect 200 plants from flooding. The Navanakhon Industrial Estate has been threatened by flood coming from the Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate, located nine kilometers away.

via All five industrial estates of Ayutthaya submerged.

The halt in production for Honda and Toyota is another setback for the automakers. Both companies are still recovering from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan which destroyed auto parts suppliers and plants all over Japan. The earthquake and tsunami also affected car production around the world, since Japan exports important auto parts and supplies to many automakers.

Toyota has three plants in Thailand, concentrated in the eastern region. These have not been subjected to the flooding and immensely high water which has engulfed Southeast Asia. However, due to parts shortages the plants cannot continue vehicle production.

In 2010 these plants produced around 630,000 vehicles, making popular and well known Toyota vehicles such as the Camry and Corolla. Production in Thailand accounts for more than 8 percent of Toyota’s worldwide production, which was an amazing 7.6 million vehicles.

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