Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Nation: Thailand shows good potential as top auto producer

Since the Federation of Thai Industries expects the production of vehicles to hit 2.5 million units by 2016, Frederico Gil Sander, a World Bank economist based in Bangkok, said yesterday that it was very likely that Thailand would become one of the top 10 auto producers in the world.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bangkok Post: Abhisit applauds local automobile industry

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday praised the growth of the local auto industry at the Thailand International Motor Expo but remained non-committal about government policy towards the sector.
Suparat: Thailand to be a top-10 maker
Suparat Sirisuwannangkul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries' automobile club, said automobile production is poised to grow from 990,000 units in 2009 to 1.6 million this year, making the country the 13th-largest auto manufacturer.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Thai Auto Production May Exceed Target After October Record

Car production in Thailand may exceed this year’s target after reaching a record in October, the nation’s Automotive Industry Club said.
Output may reach 1.7 million units, from an earlier projection of 1.6 million, Surapong Paisitpatnapong, a club spokesman, told reporters in Bangkok today. Production reached 152,689 units in October, the most since Thailand started producing cars in 1961.

VW to invest $70 billion over next 5 years

Volkswagen AG says it plans to invest Euro 51.6 billion ($70 billion) over the next five years as it focuses on modernizing and extending its brands' product range.
The company said Friday that it will put Euro 41.3 billion of the money into property, plant and equipment for its automotive division -- 57 percent of that in Germany, where it has its Wolfsburg headquarters.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Thai October Vehicle Output Hits High; Exports Still Expanding

More good news about the Thai Auto Industry:
BANGKOK -(Dow Jones)- Thailand's vehicle production surged to a new high in October, while exports continued to expand from a year earlier with increased shipments to every market, the Federation of Thai Industries said Wednesday.
October vehicle output in Thailand, a regional manufacturing hub for many of the world's biggest automakers, rose 32.7% on year to 152,689 units, the highest ever since the first vehicle was produced in Thailand in 1961, the statement said.

Bangkok Post: Mercedes-Benz building its first engine plant here

Mercedes-Benz has approved the building of an engine plant in Thailand, the first manufacturing facility the German luxury carmaker has had in the kingdom in its 106-year presence.
Although many luxury car models are built in Thailand, Mercedes-Benz has hired Thonburi Automotive Assembly Co for their assembly.

‘‘We started setting up the engine production line two weeks ago,’’ says Prof Paufler. Click here to read more.

China Post: Toyota launches Prius hybrid in Thailand

Toyota Motor Co has chosen Thailand as the third location worldwide for manufacturing its Prius hybrid cars which will go on sale on the local market next month, company executives said Thursday. “Thailand will become the third country in the world that will serve as the manufacturing base of Prius this November,” Toyota Motor Thailand president Kyoichi Tanada said.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

THE STAR ONLINE: 2010 car sales performance in major Asean markets

With less than two months left till the end of the year, major South-East Asian markets, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are gearing up for a stellar 2010 as far as their respective automotive industries are concerned.


Quick reminder to register for METALEX 2011 at BITEC, Bangkok - an interesting show for those who are involved in Automotive metalworking….. 

You can register free online with 'special privileges' until 21 November 2011.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Thailand to produce 1.7 million vehicles by year end

BANGKOK, Nov 11 - Thailand is maintaining its position as the "Detroit of Asia", beating all production records to produce about 1.7 million cars by year end and is now ranked as the 14th largest world auto producer, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)'s Automotive Industry Club….

AFG Meeting: Chris Brutons Presentation

Last Friday evening, AFG Members and friends from the AUSTRADE Automotive Trade Mission enjoyed a truly excellent presentation with lots of information and insight about Thailands economic and political present and future.

View or download the presentation on Slideshare.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Automotive World.com: Thailand combined sales up 40.3% in September

New vehicle sales in Thailand rose year-on-year for the 13th consecutive month in September. Sales were up 40.3% last month, reaching 68,261 vehicles, Toyota Motor Thailand said.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Bangkok Post: Thailand's investor appeal reviving, but more help needed

A calmer political atmosphere has returned in late 2010. No party has a clear mandate to enact new legislation or to provide us some insight into next year's election. The economy is also noticeably better, employment is strong, and the buoyant stock market makes us feel good. Yet, populist policies for energy and in a host of areas are continuing while infrastructure spending is not at the levels needed to increase the industrial and logistics competitiveness of Thailand.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Updated statistics for Vehicle & Parts Exports

… by The Thai Automotive Industry Association

Bangkok Post: Thailand World Expo in 2020

The cabinet on Tuesday approved in principle for Thailand to propose for hosting Thailand World Expo in 2020, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) director Akrapol Sorasuchart said.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Bangkok Post: Thailand: It's only in your mind

Great article from Khun Voranai our next speaker:

The government would like to rebrand Thailand, in accordance with the slogan "Thailand in your mind". Citizens are invited to vote on four choices: Thailand as a country of open-minded people with a positive attitude, or as a country with local wisdom that is still open to the world, or as the place where business, culture and nature converge into one destination, or as a hub for investment and exemplary service.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Bangkok Post: Somboon plans B3.5bn investment to expand capacities

The SET-listed auto-parts maker Somboon Advance Technology (SAT) is planning to invest 3.5 billion baht to expand its production over the next three years to serve expected high growth of the automotive industry.

American Chronicle: Germans keen to invest in Thailand: Chemical, auto-parts makers making plans


Alexander Becker, executive assistant to the president of Continental's chassis and safety division, said the company plans to step up its presence in Thailand through new investment to build a new automotive parts plant. Its first engine plant in Thailand started in 2009.
Continental wants to double its revenue in Thailand from 30 million euros at present to 60 million in 2015 partly through seeking closer access to Japanese customers such as Toyota and Honda to gain more market share.
"Despite a (political) crisis over recent months, Thailand has shown a very good rate of economic growth and growing vehicle sales," said Dr Becker. "The eco-car programme is a very good strategy for developing the auto industry."

People Daily: Thai GDP in 1st half of 2010 to grow 10%: Bank of Thailand chief

Thailand's gross domestic product ( GDP) in the 1st half of 2010 could increase 10 percent year on year, Bank of Thailand (BOT) governor Tarisa Watanagase said on Thursday, the Bangkok Post's website reported.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

China's electric car industry

Great presentation about history and future of the Chinese electric car industry….must read!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Ford expands with $ 450M facility

Ford Motor Co. said it will build a $450 million car factory in Thailand, its first wholly owned plant in the country, undeterred by fatal anti-government protests in Bangkok earlier this year.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Kingdom 'could be among ten top automakers' by 2014

Wallop Tiasiri, Director Thai Automotive Institute noted that one major hindrance blocking Thailand from this achievement is the labour shortage. To accommodate the higher capacity, the industry will need an additional 150,000 workers, he said….

After the institute's board meeting, chaired by Industry Permanent Secretary Witoon Simachokdee, Wallop said yes'terday that there was a consen'sus that the automotive industry will show continued expan\sion. While the capacity will rise to 2.95 million units in 2014, the actual output will hit 2.1 million, thanks to the invest'ment in five ecocar projects as well as expansion of other projects.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Aapico revs up China expansion: Target set to triple revenue in three years

The SET-listed automotive parts maker Aapico Hitech Plc (AH) is planning a major expansion in China as it seeks to increase its revenue from the mainland to 3 billion baht in three years from the current 800 million.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

GM, Carmakers Expand in Thailand as Unrest Fails to Dent Growth


General Motors Co. boosted vehicle sales in Thailand 62 percent in April as political unrest failed to dent rising demand fueled by the nation’s growing economy.

Thai Parts makers wooed to set up local bases

Bangkok Post article via American Chronicle:

The Thailand Automotive Institute plans roadshows to invite foreign parts manufacturers to use Thailand as a production base in an attempt to reduce parts imports by 80% within five years, says director Wallop Tiasiri.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Pattaya Mail Review about last AFG Function

Dr Iain Corness

The very active Automotive Focus Group (AFG) on the Eastern Seaboard held its meeting before the Australian Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Pullman Pattaya Aisawan Resort. Check out the full review here.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Thailand Sees Promising Growth in Auto Parts Industry

BANGKOK, THAILAND -- 03/29/10 -- Thailand expects its auto parts industry to grow as demand for vehicles and auto parts increase in South East Asia.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

BANGKOK POST: FTAs force closures of auto-parts firms

Local auto-parts manufacturers are being forced out of business by increased competition from free-trade agreements including the Asean Free Trade Area.
Fewer than 10% of local first-tier parts suppliers are wholly owned Thai companies at present compared with 80% a decade ago, said Prasartsilp On-Aht, president of the Thai Auto-Parts Manufacturers Association.
"The only competitive advantage of the Thai auto-parts industry is skilled labour. The country lacks raw materials and technological know-how," said Mr Prasartsilp.

THE NATION: Auto production grows on higher demand

Thailand's automotive production rose 109.36 per cent on year in February, at the number of 127,849 units, according to the Federation of Thai Industries' Automotive Industry Club.

Friday, 19 March 2010


Via Jim Beeson: 

Interesting report across all industries with good information about the state of the Automotive Industry….check it out

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

BLLOOMBERG via GASGOO: Mitsubishi Motors to boost production in Thailand

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Japan's sixth-largest automaker, plans to increase production at a plant in Thailand this month to meet growing demand for its vehicles in Asia.
The carmaker will add a shift at the plant, which makes cars including Pajero Sport SUVs and Triton pickup trucks, it said in a faxed statement today. It will add 1,300 workers at the factory, it said.
Mitsubishi Motors made 5,603 vehicles with one shift at the factory in July, company spokesman Yuuki Murata said. The company didn't disclose how much it will increase production.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

BANGKOK POST; Nissan reveals first Thai Eco-Car

The launch of Nissan's new sub-B car next week marks yet another milestone in the history of Thai automotive industry.

Monday, 1 March 2010


Thanks to our member Randy Simmons for posting information about the new AFG board on the number one Heat Treat web site. 
Please scroll down the page to see the news item.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Dr. Iain Corness: AFG meets the Magnate

The Automotive Focus Group Thailand (AFG) held their February meeting at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, and featured an address by Kevin Gallaghan from Magnate Automotive, builders of what has been dubbed Thailand’s ‘supercar’ by some sections of the media.

The February meeting was also the AGM, and president Mike Diamente (DANA) addressed the members, beginning by reporting how pleased he was to see the membership double during 2009, now being 60 members.

He reported on the survey taken during 2009, with the main needs for the members (at that time) being labor relations, downsizing the correct way and keeping a hold on the cost of logistics.

He also noted that although the AFG is associated with AustCham, there were three months in the year in which there were no Seaboard Sundowners and the AFG was able to arrange and organize its own venues very successfully, including the function rooms at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.

One of the new services the AFG had given its members was the AFG directory (organized by Uli Kaiser) which has given the members an e-forum in which the members can update all the others as to the information regarding their business ventures.

Financially the AFG was in very good shape and Mike stated the opinion that for 2010 he is looking forward to the AFG growing in quality and quantity, with a goal to have topics during the year that invoke conversation and learning.
The topic for that evening was the Magnate P708, a concept vehicle which has been made in Chonburi.  Kevin Gallaghan, the founder of Magnate Automotive spoke on the trials and tribulations involved in building such a car, and not just Thailand problems.

The concept has been four years in creation, and the build run will be capped at 100 units over four to five years.  With a carbon-fiber monocoque manufactured by Cobra International in Chonburi, the mid-engined car currently has a Chevrolet Corvette LS7 V8 mated to a 6 speed transaxle, though the future plans include a V10 Lamborghini power plant.

Kevin Gallaghan shied away from the ‘supercar’ tag, saying that he was more interested in producing a comfortable high performance car, rather than something to challenge names like Koenigsegg or Pagani Zonda, both over USD 1 million.  The Magnate P708 he estimated would be sold on the world market at USD 350,000 with the LS 7 engine and USD 500,000 with the Lamborghini engine.

Unfortunately, to receive certification for this car, he is looking at assembly in South Africa, but the major parts would be sourced from Thailand.

Contact with the AFG can be made through the secretary Maurice Bromley, email Maurice.Bromley@go-dove.com

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Fan video from the Bangkok Automotive Expo 2009

Find out what makes this car more special than a Ferrari or a Evo.

Kevin Gallahan:
"It wasn't the start of a company but the start of an idea."
"Here we are today with a high technology, carbon composite chassis building a world class supercar in Thailand"
"The cost of the prototype build has been as high as it would have been anywhere in the world."

Did you know:
The P 708 a collector's car – only 100 will be built.
It's a true racing car.
The price tag is around 15 Million Baht.

For the technically minded, here are some specs:

Height adjustment - front and rear
Magnate SMART Instrument Panel
Magnate Touch Screen Intelligence System w/ Engine Diagnostics and Security features
Bi-Xenon lighting
Apple iPhone Supplied Audio
Air conditioning and heating
Wheels: Forgeline 3 Pc. 20" X 12" rear, 20 x 9" front

Engine: Magnate 7.0 liter Aluminum V8. @ 530 horsepower,
(Optional Magnate 7.0 liter Twin Turbo 750 BHP / 730 lbs-ft of torque)
- Custom 7.0 L aluminum block
- Callies forged steel 4340 crankshaft
- JE Forged aluminum pistons
- Manley 6.125" fully machined 4340 forged steel I-Beam connecting rods
- CNC Porting and polishing of LS3 L92 cylinder heads
- 2.165" hollow stem intake valve
- 1.59" Inconel one piece heavy duty exhaust valves
- High performance valve springs & lightweight retainers
- Three angle valve job, checking of spring tensions & heights
- Computer balanced rotating assembly
- Blueprinted Engine
- Properly sized fuel injectors and high capacity fuel system
- Two Garrett true ball bearing turbochargers - liquid cooled and engine oil lubricated
- Magnate turbo compressor housings & exhaust housings with integral waste gates
- Magnate super high efficiency liquid to air chargecooler
- Magnate high efficiency liquid to air heat exchanger, coolant tank and pump assembly
- Magnate turbocharger scavenge pump & turbo oil drain reservoir
- Stainless steel / ceramic heat shields & stainless clamps
- Port matched LS3 intake manifold
- 90 MM Ported and polished throttle body
- REMUS 304 stainless steel exhaust system
- Magnate 3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty
- Dry Sump Oiling system

Body: A full Pre Preg Carbon Fiber/Aluminum honeycomb body.

Floor: 3 Piece floor with venturi tunnel sections front and rear (including 2 rear
splitters) Pre Preg Carbon Fiber/Aluminum honeycomb structure.

Rear Wing: Optional

Safety: Forward and side carbon/honeycomb crush structures, 4 point seat belts. 1-3/8" diameter 4130 aircraft quality steel rollover hoop.

Tires: Michelin PS2 335/30/20 Rear 255/35/20 Front

Most of the cars suspension components are interchangeable. This includes: billet machined aluminum rear uprights, wheel bearings, wheel hubs, top wishbones, rod ends and spherical bearings, rockers journals, anti-rollbar blades and brake calipers.

The pushrod front and rear suspension has a rocker arrangement, which gives a velocity ratio of 1.2:1. The front rocker has a slight rising rate characteristic for stability under heavy braking and entry into corners. The rear rocker is linear to optimize traction coming out of corners.

The anti-rollbar control front and rear is via a 4130 aircraft quality steel TIG welded bar with an adjustable blade giving six positions of stiffness. Additional rates can be achieved with optional alternate rollbar diameters.

The suspension is fully adjustable with regard to camber, toe, Ackerman and caster and can therefore be refined to suit road or track conditions or driver preference. Steering is via a rack and pinion assembly. The Penske shock absorbers are 3 way adjustable for high and low speed bump and rebound.
There is a dual braking system with individual master cylinders for the front and rear with a driver adjustable brake balance bar, ventilated rotors and aluminum calipers. ?? wheels are recommended as original equipment and attached via a center locking wheel nut device with independent drive pegs on the wheel hubs with an "over center" nut lock safety device.

The body has front mounted water radiator ducted over the top of the car and side mountedoil coolers ducted in through the side of the car that exit through the engine compartment and out of the rear. The engine air inlet duct is centrally located and situated behind the driving compartment. The front of the car has a venturi tunnel in between the front wheels, and venturi tunnels/diffusers in the rear floor for overall downforce. A rear wing is available as an optional extra.

Yes: It has an iPhone slot and a monitor that will show your playlists!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The sensation from Chonburi: Meet the P708

Join the AFG Meeting on 19 February when Kevin Gallaghan from MAGNATE Automotive will introduce his car company and the P708.

A talk not to be missed!

Friday, 29 January 2010

AFG Meeting Report

The Eastern Seaboard’s Automotive Focus Group (AFG) held their first monthly meeting for 2010 at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya’s function rooms. Now with around 60 members as at the end of 2009, the AFG does represent a sizable voice locally.
Under the leadership of Mike Diamente (Dana), the AFG has grown in numbers, though the members present at the first meeting suggested that the group should attempt to expand even further to take in even more of the automotive manufacturers and parts and associated companies.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Bangkok Post: Market eyes 9% growth

December closed out 2009 with sales of 72,085 new vehicles resulting in record hauls for the month in all major categories and the best year-ending performance in three years.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Bangkok Post: Auto output to double

Local automobile production is projected to almost double in the first quarter this year in line with the recovering economy, says Surapong Phaisitpatthanapong, spokesman for Federation of Thai Industries' automobile industry club.

Read the whole story here.

Bangkok Post: FTI: Car exports up 23.86% in Dec

Car exports last month rose to 53,600 units or 23.86% year-on-year, Federation of Thai Industries' Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpattanapong said.
However,  auto exports in December dropped 58,665 units or 8.63 per cent from November. Last month's export value was 25.21 billion baht, up 41.81 per cent.

Read the whole story here.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Ford & Social Media

In 2009 Ford executives were highly visible in social media. From Twitter Q&As to open discussions on Ford’s Facebook Wall to blogger meet ups to guest blog posts. In 2010 Ford is dedicated to continuing to engage with online influencers, and Ford fans using social media channels.

Ask Ford CEO Alan Mulally!

You can submit a question to @HuffingtonPost for Ford CEO Alan Mulally who will be answering a few reader questions on Monday.

What did YOU always want to ask Mr Mulally? Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Toyota expects market conditions to improve in 2010

Toyota Australia expects market conditions to improve in 2010, as the economy continues to recover and help lift demand for cars.
There are few negatives on the outlook for the year ahead, Toyota Australia senior executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner says.

Bangkok Post: Small cars take centre stage at Delhi auto show

A host of new small cars were Tuesday set to jostle for attention at the start of the Indian auto show, a showpiece event for compact vehicles in one of the world's fastest growing markets.

Bangkok Post: Hybrid tax breaks tabled

The cabinet yesterday deferred consideration of duty exemptions on parts imported for hybrid cars, pending a broader review of incentives for other types of fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.

Bangkok Post: Asean integration aids parts makers

Asean integration should help not hinder Thai auto parts makers but the government needs to quickly clear hurdles to growth, say industry executives.