Saturday, 12 December 2009

Thanks!

I like to thank everybody for coming to the AFG Meeting last Friday at the Holiday Inn and for the nice feedback to the Online-Networking talk!

Uli

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

AFG Meeting: Automotive Networking - Online

Dear Members and Friends:

This presentation talk was developed specifically for the AFG and it's members.

It's an original presentation which will be premiered on Friday and will focus on how to grow your customer and partner base in the Automotive Industry - worldwide.



Please check out the agenda of this interesting talk and join this meeting. Please send a confirmation to Maurice Bromley.

Monday, 16 November 2009

“THAILAND LIFT YOUR GAME” WAS AFG CONSENSUS

We're in the News! Read the report by Harry Green in Pattaya Daily News on last Friday's AFG event.

VW may drop Thai eco-car plans for Proton alliance

Volkswagen may abandon plans to build an eco car plant in Thailand in favour of developing a more comprehensive alliance with Proton in Malaysia, according to Vallop Tiasiri, president of the Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI). Read more here.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

AFG looks at counting pennies

Courtesy of Doc Iain Corness and by kind permission of the Pattaya Mail, please find below the report on the AFG Meeting from Friday 13 November:




The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) invited representatives from General Motors and Ford to address the members on the subject of “Thailand outlook for the auto industry in 2010 and beyond.”
Frank Holzer, a genial GM style Aussie was the first speaker, but unfortunately Reiko Webster from Ford got lost and arrived a little late, so her address will be deferred to another meeting of the AFG group. (It really is time that FoMoCo had Satnav as standard equipment!)

Frank Holzer began his very ‘frank’ address by stating that the current problems are actually future problems, so we (and GM) are not out of the woods yet. He cited the global economic crisis, international business issues and Thailand’s political issues as all factors which resulted in GM seeing a 59 percent drop in sales year on year.

Factors affecting the bottom line included wages which have doubled over 10 years, and he felt that government intervention was needed in the area of wage control, otherwise Thailand would lose its pricing competitiveness.




He saw the need for all businesses, not just GM, to have sound fiscal policies which would allow for rapid restructuring when necessary and said that Outsourcing did not allow for quick action and is a fixed cost to the manufacturer. A cost that perhaps the parent company cannot sustain in times of economic woes. He also said that corporations have to understand that maintenance of ‘market share’ does not necessarily mean maintenance of ‘profitability’. The pennies have to be counted.

Frank also stated that in the auto industry, keeping large stocks to supply dealers was no longer a viable plan, and ‘build to order’ was much more financially appropriate.

Domestic recovery is expected by 2011, with the one tonne pick-up market still dominant in domestic sales, but the export market will be driven by small, fuel-efficient cars.

In his summation he mentioned the need for political stability in this country and the need to develop and educate the workforce, otherwise China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia will take over Thailand’s (tenuous) hold on being the ‘Detroit of Asia’.


By Dr Iain Corness

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Bangkok Post: Honda opens R&D facility

The new Bangkok-based Honda's automotive research and development facilities for Asia and Oceania officially opened yesterday will help accelerate the eco-car development in Thailand, said Mr Fumihiko Ike, president of Asian Honda Motor Co.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

10 Rules for Successful Outsourcing Relationships

“History shows that great economic and social forces flow like a tide over communities only half conscious of what is befalling them. Wise statesmen foresee what time is thus bringing, and try to shape institutions and mould men's thoughts and purposes in accordance with the change that is silently coming one. The unwise are those who bring nothing to the process, and who greatly imperil the future of mankind by leaving great questions to be fought out between ignorant change on one hand and ignorant opposition to change on the other.” - John Stuart Mill

Courtesy to Russell Pang / CEVALOGISTICS...

Load it all down at http://www.ulikaiser.de/afg/10Rules.doc

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

BANGKOK POST: Malaysia's auto revival 'no threat'

The local automobile industry is unconcerned by the Malaysian government's bid to unseat Thailand as Southeast Asia's manufacturing hub for the sector, says the Thailand Automotive Institute.

Malaysia's auto industry is still a long way behind Thailand's, said Vallop Tiasiri, the director of the TAI.

Kuala Lumpur yesterday announced a decision to resume issuing carmaking licences with an aim to spur investment and employment. It will also seek a strategic partner to revive its national car company, Proton Holdings Bhd.

Malaysia opens up auto sector to woo investors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysia unveiled plans Wednesday to open up its auto sector, including allowing 100 percent foreign ownership and offering a 10-year tax break for carmakers to produce hybrid and electric vehicles as it seeks to catch up with Thailand as a regional auto hub.

NOW THAT'S AN INTERESTING ARTICLE. CHECK IT OUT.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Bangkok Post: B1bn firm to target US auto parts market

A Thai-owned auto parts distributor in the United States will join with Thai aftermarket auto-parts producers to set up a holding company worth 1 billion baht to purchase 30 auto repair centres in the US within two years.

The move is part of a strategy by the Cluster of Thai Automotive Parts to expand its members' markets to improve industry performance when local demand is weak because of the slump in vehicle sales and production.

"We have been trying to enter the US market for more than 10 years, but were unsuccessful because we didn't use the right channels," said Samart Deebhijarn, the president of the cluster.

REUTERS: ASEAN gearing up to be global green auto hub

HUA HIN, Thailand (Reuters) - Southeast Asia is gearing up to become a global hub for the production and sale of environmentally friendly cars, a Thai deputy cabinet minister said on Thursday.

Friday, 23 October 2009

"What you pay is what you get" – but then .... sometimes not

Wrapped in the psychedelic surroundings of the Fillmore Room at the HARD ROCK HOTEL, a strong audience of 20+ AFG members and guests enjoyed a thorough and creative panel discussion on the in and outs of logistics.

Senior speakers from DHL, Katoen Natie, CEVA Logistics and VPack & Move explained the several levels of logistics services – the higher the level, the higher the integration with the customers business processes.


The feedback and discussion was very interesting, with logistics specialists from GM and Michelin actively involved.

A main point was the creation of "shared services" so we don't have 2 half empty truck carrying goods from the same A to the same B at the same time.

An excellent session sure to benefit everyone in the audience.


After the meeting, most of the participants enjoyed a beer and roast pig at the joint German and British Chamber function in the Hard Rock Cafe.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

AFGMeeting November

AFG Meeting Information for November 2009:


Date: Friday, 13 November 2009
Time: 17.00 - 18.30
Location: dusitD2 baraquda pattaya

Speakers: Representing GM and AAT

Discussing:
* Thailand outlook for of the auto industry in 2010 and beyond?
* What segments of the Auto Industry may see growth and what may see reduction?
* New regulations if any on export that will impact suppliers?
* What is the take on OEM and supplier relationship in these difficult times?
* Do the manufacturers expect hard negotiations this year and what should suppliers and public be ready for?

To book this meeting, please contact:
Maurice Bromley
Secretary
Email: Maurice.Bromley@go-dove.com

Forging Meeting Summary

James Beeson provided this summary of the Forging Sector Meeting from 14 October 2009. It contains market analysis and forecast data - check it out:

http://www.ulikaiser.de/afg/ForgingMeeting.pdf

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Results of AFG Members Survey

Dear AFG Members. The results of the member survery conducted by the Committee can be downloaded here.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Presentation on LPA

Devanathan Varadan held a presentation explaining LPA (Layer Process Auditing) at last weeks AFG Meeting. You can download the presentation here.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

GM to seek funds abroad

US-based General Motors Company (GM), which emerged from bankruptcy in early July, said yesterday it may seek funds from outside Thailand to help finance its delayed diesel-engine and pickup-truck projects in Rayong.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

June car exports drop 45.53%

Vehicle exports for June were down on the same month last year by 45.53 per cent to 35,403 units, Surapong Phaisiahatthnapong, spokesman of the Automobile Group at the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) reported on Wednesday.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Better statistics: China leads the way

I think we all wish we had this kind of statistical information available in Thailand. Compare this with the data available on the "Thai Automotive Institute" web site.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

BANGKOK POST: Eco-car may get a rethink

The government may improve tax incentives for eco-cars to stimulate the economy, says Suwit Khunkitti, minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

He said a government panel seeking solutions to delays in the programme to build small, fuel-efficient cars could favour a "green tax" incentive"The more reductions in carbon emissions and the greener technology for engines [that carmakers can provide], the more green tax incentives they would receive," he said.

Monday, 20 July 2009

CHINA CAR TIMES: Electric Geely Panda to be built this year

Electric vehicles from China.... makes sense to me. China's domestic car industry still has to catch up many years to be able to compete with the west. In the electric car sector, they could become a serious player much more quickly. At a price of 200,000 to 300,000 Baht, I think they might sell.....

(Comment above by Uli Kaiser)

BANGKOK POST: Magna, RHJ, BAIC in the race to take over Opel

Canadian auto parts maker Magna, Belgium-based investment fund RHJ and China's BAIC have all filed formal bids to take over General Motors' struggling subsidiary Opel, GM Europe said on Monday.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

BANGKOK POST: Pickup trucks fare worst in auto slump

One-tonne pickup trucks performed worst, lagging far behind other segments in the first half of this year, according to Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Co.

Pickup sales for the period fell by 35.95% year-on-year to 112,869 units.

USA Today: World's cheapest car: First Tata Nano is delivered in India; due in U.S. in two years

India's Ashok Vichare, 55, a resident of Mumbai, today became the proud owner of a silver Tata Nano, the first delivery of the world's cheapest car.

Friday, 17 July 2009

BANGKOK POST: Auto market drop of 22% foreseen

The domestic automobile market this year is likely to be far worse than in 2008 because of the global recession and local political instability, says Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, the vice-chairman of Toyota Motor Thailand.

Total sales for 2009 are expected to drop 22% year-on-year to 480,000 units, while 2008 sales slipped only 3% year-on-year to 615,000 units, he said.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

THE NATION: Auto market remains subdued in first half

The automobile market witnessed a 28.01 per cent drop in sales in the first six months of this year, when a total of 231,428 units were sold, according to data compiled by Tri Petch Isuzu Sales.

BANGKOK POST: Bold tax cuts may fire up eco-cars

Manufacturers of eco-cars may be awarded a two-year tariff reduction of as much as 90% on imported parts, as Thailand is striving to revive the sluggish automotive industry. The goal is to attract carmakers to turn the country into a major production base for fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly compact vehicles.

Monday, 13 July 2009

THE NATION: Bridgestone's new plant to make retread material

Bridgestone's Thai subsidiary, Bridgestone Bandag Manufacturing (Thailand), is to invest Bt5.2 billion in a manufacturing plant in Chon Buri to produce retread materials for tyres.

THE NATION: Tax break on eco-car parts

The Board of Investment plans to reduce import duties on materials and parts for eco-cars, to reduce prices and encourage buyers.

Bangkok Post: AAT opens $500m compact car plant


Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT), the 50-50 joint venture of Ford Motor and Mazda Corp, opened its new $500-million compact car plant yesterday aimed at positioning Thailand as a global manufacturing hub for the two international automakers.


Thursday, 2 July 2009

BANGKOK POST: Auto revival unlikely before next year

Thailand's struggling automotive industry is expected to see a revival by the first or second quarter next year, says Vivek Vaidya, director of the Asia-Pacific automotive and transport practice with the industry consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Based on the current scenario, total vehicle sales are projected to drop by 29% year-on-year to 434,000 units this year from 615,000 units sold in 2008. Sales of pickup trucks could decline 32% to 226,000 units and those of passenger cars by 14% to 195,000 units.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

THE NATION: Thai Competitiveness conference under way

The Thailand Competitiveness Conference 2009 will kick off today in the Grand Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok.

Speakers will discuss how to boost the Kingdom's competitiveness.

The two-day conference will be hosted by the Thai Institute of Directors Association in cooperation with the Thailand Management Association, the Board of Trade, the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

BANGKOK POST: Petrol, gasohol prices up

Motorists are paying more at the pump today after oil companies increased the price of petrol by 0.50 baht per litre and gasohol by 0.70 baht a litre.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

MICHIGAN AUTO: General Motors seeks court approval to become "New" company

NEW YORK -- General Motors' bid to sell its "good" parts into a new company and emerge from bankruptcy protection began Tuesday as hundreds of lawyers converged on a Manhattan courthouse.

THE NATION: Expats in Thailand, US 'Among the worst hit'

HSBC Bank International revealed last week that the economic crisis has had a wide impact on expats' financial situations, according to the world's largest survey of expats, Expat Explorer.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

THE NATION: Toyota Thailand names new chief


Toyota Motor Thailand has announced the appointment of Kyoichi Tanada as president, succeeding Mitsuhiro Sonoda.

Bangkok Post: Aftermarket parts trade thrives as drivers keep cars

While sellers of new and used cars alike struggle, some auto-parts operators are prospering in tough economic times, as drivers strive to keep their cars running longer.

Consumers who have financial concerns and can't replace their existing cars are doing everything they can to keep them in order. But the older cars get, the more work they need. As a result, the engine and parts aftermarket and the second-hand parts market is brighter than ever.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

REUTERS: Tata Motors affirms Thai eco-car project

Tata Motors Ltd. said on Wednesday its 5-billion-baht ($147 million) project to produce an "eco car" in Thailand by 2012 was still on track. Ajit Venkataraman, chief executive of Tata's Thai unit, dismissed local newspaper reports that the Indian car giant may be wavering on its Thai project.

Bangkok Post: Local auto industry believes new models will revive sales

New model launches are expected to help stabilise local passenger car sales in the third quarter before a recovery in the fourth quarter, the Thailand Automotive Institute said yesterday.

While pickup truck sales and exports continued to plunge in May, the decline in passenger car sales was more modest. As a result, overall vehicle production rose 15% last month from April, said Vallop Tiasiri, the institute's president.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Continental Automotive opens Plant in AMATA CITY

Congratulations to Continental Automotive for opening their new plant in AMATA CITY.

According to MD Thomas Chambers, the company still sees Asia as a growth market for Continental.


"We forecast that by 2012, one in two cars of global vehicle production will be produced by Asia. It is undeniable that Thailand's automotive industry is well-established with the one-ton pickup truck as the product champion. We are determined to stay here," said Mr Chambers.


Check out the full Bangkok Post article here.

Monday, 15 June 2009

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS: Automotive market in Thailand: industry overview


Thailand automotive market: the "Detroit of Asia"?

Despite recent economic challenges around the world, Thailand’s burgeoning economy has not lost momentum and the automotive industry continues to grow. In the last decade, a dramatic increase in passenger car and commercial vehicle production has contributed substantially to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) — making automotive the third largest industry in Thailand.


You can download the ERNST & YOUNG report here.

Chrysler restarts first plant

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Chrysler LLC says it has restarted a small factory that makes the Viper sports car.

The Conner Avenue assembly plant in Detroit is the first to begin making vehicles since May 4 when the company shut down all of its plants after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.