Ford has said that Thailand's top class automotive, logistics and export infrastructure was a factor in its decision to build a new $450m passenger vehicle plant in Rayong.
The plant will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles and will begin assembling the next-generation Ford Focus from 2012 according to the company. Some 85% of cars produced at the facility will be sold to overseas in the Asia Pacific region with the rest distributed to the domestic market.
“This investment underscores our long term commitment to Thailand, and its role as a global production and export hub for Ford,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “The decision to build our new plant was supported by Thailand’s world-class automotive industry, and logistics and export infrastructure.”
Ford plans to purchase up to $800m worth of local components annually through Thailand's local supplier network
The carmaker currently manufactures vehicles including the Ford Ranger, Mazda B-Series and Ford Everest in its AutoAlliance Thailand plant, which is also located in Rayong.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, Nissan is looking at Indonesia’s potential as an export manufacturing base once infrastructure problems are surmounted and the currently uncompetitive logistics costs are lowered. The carmaker aims to double its car production and market share in Indonesia by 2013, as strong demand in the country drives domestic sales.
Nissan's sales volume in Indonesia reached 21,440 vehicles last year, but the company plans to raise that to around 90,000 units by 2013 from the current annual level of 50,000 vehicles. To meet this goal, it plans to invest around $20m in its vehicle assembly plant and double sales outlets to more than 80.
Additionally, manufacturing of the new Nissan March for Indonesia will begin in November 2010. The company also plans to commence production and marketing of the Nissan Juke in 2011.
Pictured (from right) Ford's Raj Nair, vice president, Operations, Asia Pacific and Africa, Peter Fleet, president, Ford ASEAN, and Joe Hinrichs, president, Asia Pacific and Africa, Ford