Showing posts from 2011

Electric Pickup Truck to Debut at 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Via Motors will introduce a new electric-powered full-size pickup truck, 4x4 SUV and cargo van at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10. Making the introuduction will be Bob Lutz, former vice president of GM and called by some as the father of the Chevy Volt.

The powertrain in the new Via eREV (which stands for extended-range electric vehicle) will work similarly to the Volt's system. Lithium-ion batteries power the wheels for a full electric range of around 40 miles. When the batteries are low, a small onboard gas engine will start up and provide extended-range capability for the batteries, up to 400 miles using the onboard generator, averaging up to 100 mpg.

Japan Supply Chains Still Hampered by Thai Flooding

A poll shows 81 percent of production bases still producing less now than before floods
Many Japanese companies are still feeling the pinch of heavy flooding in Thailand because of supply chain disruptions, according to an emergency survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Nidec to cut reliance on Thai factories

Japanese motor maker Nidec Corp will reduce its reliance on Thai factories for hard-disk-drive motors by diversifying production bases to China and the Philippines, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Honda ditches flooded cars

The recent widespread flooding hit Honda especially hard, as both its plants in Ayutthaya were inundated.

Speculation has been rife that the flood-damaged cars may be repaired and sold locally or abroad as brand new.

The fear has been that the Japan-based manufacturer would send these cars back to the line for replacement of damaged parts, after which they would be delivered to customers.

Pontiac story

Have a read

What Every Marketer Can Learn From Saab's Crash And Burn

This week marked the dead end for Saab motor car company. And they should cause a deathly chill to run down the spine of any marketer who believes they can get by, just by getting by. Undifferentiated in a market filled with hundreds of cars to choose from, Saab sought to find its place in the world.

GM restarts talks with Proton Holdings to form JV

General Motors has reportedly begun talks with Malaysia’s largest carmaker, Proton Holdings, to set up a joint venture in the Southeast Asian country.

Bloomberg quotes two confidential sources familiar with the matter who say that current discussions revive negotiations that were abandoned in 2007. The talks are preliminary and may not lead to an agreement, the sources added.

An agreement would give GM the chance to expand car manufacturing in Southeast Asia beyond Thailand, deeply affected by the worst floods in the last 70 years. For Proton, the deal would provide access to GM technology that could make its products more competitive. Proton had unsuccessful alliance talks in the past with Volkswagen and Peugeot.

Toyota Lowers Annual Profit Forecast 54% After Thai Floods

Toyota Motor Corp., poised to lose its crown as the world's largest carmaker this year, cut its profit forecast 54 percent after Thailand's worst floods in almost 70 years disrupted output of Camry and Prius vehicles.

Swiss Re Sees Claims Costs Of $600 Mln From Thailand Flood

Swiss Reinsurance Co. (SSREY.PK: News , SWCEF.PK) on Tuesday estimated its claims costs from Thailand's severe flooding at $600 million. The estimates, net of retrocession and before tax, remains subject to significant uncertainty, as it is difficult to assess losses accurately due to the still higher water levels following intense rainfall, the Swiss reinsurer added. The company currently estimates the total insured market loss to be in the range of $8 billion to $11 billion.

THE STAR: Proton to produce Mitsubishi sedans soon

SUBANG JAYA: Proton expects to seal a joint venture agreement with Mitsubishi Motors Corp to produce Mitsubishi sedan models at its Tanjung Malim plant by year-end.

Its group managing director, Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin, said under the agreement, Mitsubishi would make 60,000 units a year which were equivalent to 90 per cent of the plant's production capacity.

"The plant currently operates at between 56 and 58 per cent capacity," he told a media briefing after the announcement of the company's second quarter 2011's results here Tuesday.

BANGKOK POST: 11,000 jobless as 39 auto-parts firms shut down

Thirty-nine auto-parts manufacturers in deluged industrial estates have announced they have closed down, leaving 10,957 workers jobless, Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap says.

Most of the laid-off workers were migrants who had skills in the auto-making and electronic parts industries, he said yesterday.

However, they would get compensation and other benefits, while the ministry has more than 100,000 jobs available for them, said Mr Padermchai.

THE NATION: Honda cleared for vehicle imports

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved an 8-month waive on import tariffs on machinery and completely-built units (CBU) as well as components, Industry Ministry Wannarat Charnnukul said.

The temporary measure will stand from October 25 this year until June 30, 2012 and cover only imports to substitute lost production in the Kingdom, Wannarat added. Details on this would be determined by the Industrial Economics Department.

Though several assemblers are affected, only Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co Ltd is eligible for zero tariffs for the imports of vehicles, as floods completely shut down its plant operations in Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya. The plant, with 240,000 annualised capacity, has been suspended since early October.

PATTAYA MAIL: AFG looks at tomorrow, and the next year

DOC IAIN reporting for PATTAYA MAIL:

The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) held a very successful and popular mini-seminar entitled, “What’s up (and down) in the world today (and implications for Thailand)” given by the always erudite Chris Bruton from Dataconsult.

Flood damage exceeds 1 Trillion Baht

The Federation of Thai Industries expects the economic damage to be as high as Bt1.124 trillion, against government units' estimates of between Bt200-Bt300 billion.

At Bt1.124 trillion, that accounts for 10.50 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Tanit Sorat, vice chairman of FTI, said that as the automotive industry was hard hit, output could be cut by 300,000 units. Due to severe damage to the automotive and electronics industries, Thailand’s export figure in October grew only 0.3 per cent, the lowest in two years. The FTI is of the view that the fourth-quarter export would contract 10 per cent due to the floods.

As Floods Recede, Toyota's Recovery Slowly Continues

Well worth reading from the guys at MOTLEY FOOL….

Blame flooding. In Thailand.

In a great example of the regional interconnections that drive global commerce nowadays, widespread floods in Thailand have disrupted production of key parts for several major automakers, throwing factories around the world off their paces. Honda and Toyota have taken particularly hard hits, but other major automakers have suffered significant losses as well -- and not all of them are based in Asia.

Thai auto production in Q4 likely to slump 44-55%: Kasikorn

BANGKOK, Nov 23 – Thailand’s auto production in the fourth quarter of this year is projected to shrink by 44-55 per cent year-on-year due to the recent flood crisis, Kasikorn Research Center (KRC) said on Wednesday.

The think tank forecasts that the country’s total auto production in the last quarter of 2011 will dip to 200,000-250,000 units, a 44-55 per cent decline.

Due to the significant drop, this year’s overall production was projected to fall 7-10 per cent to 1,485,000-1,535,000 units, dropping from 1,645,304 units last year.

AFG Meeting with Chris Bruton, November 18, 2011

Here's a link to download Chris Bruton's presentation from the last AFG Meeting.

Thai flood: Toyota, Mazda, MMC production restarting soon

Via Paul Tans Blog:

Auto production that was crippled by massive flooding in Thailand is beginning to get back on its feet. Some companies whose factories were spared by the water rush, but whose suppliers were affected, are restarting production soon, the Bangkok Post reports. They include Japanese giant Toyota, Mazda and Mitsubishi. “We will try to start production as soon as possible, possibly on the 21st of this month, and then slowly increase our production capacity,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who also plans to increase investment in the Land of Smiles. “Toyota expects to increase our investment here over time to develop the automotive industry,” he added. Like General Motors’ Rayong plant, Toyota’s three Thai plants in Samut Prakan and Chachoengsao weren’t under water, but many suppliers and vendors were affected. Toyota, the biggest carmaker in Thailand, has delayed restarting operations three times already, but green light from suppliers this time around make Toyoda’s ta…

Toyota to resume Thailand production Nov 21 after suspension due to flood

BANGKOK, Nov 10 - Japanese automaker Toyota Motor says it will resume production in Thailand Nov 21, one month after severe flooding forced it to suspend operations, Japan’s NHK reported Thursday.

Toyota’s three plants in Thailand’s Samut Prakan and Chachoengsao provinces, unaffected directly by the flooding, halted production Oct 10 due to supply chain disruptions after flooding hit industrial estates in Thailand’s central provinces.

139 Japanese listed firms sustain damage from Thai floods

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A total of 215 plants in Thailand affiliated with 139 Japanese listed firms have been damaged by flooding there, a survey by a private research agency showed Wednesday.

Of the 139 companies, 81 were in the electronics business and 71 in the automotive business as many of them operate in more than one business sector, Tokyo Shoko Research said, indicating the engines of Japan's manufacturing industry have been heavily affected.

Honda’s dealers in Thailand may face bankruptcy

Thailand’s worst floods in half a century creates serious problems to the automotive industry.
A large number of Honda dealers across Thailand are becoming increasingly concerned for the future of their businesses, as most of them face disruptions.

Within Thailand, two Honda plants in the Rojana Industrial Park have been fully submerged since Oct. 6, Jessada Thongpak, an analyst with IHS Global Automotive, said in a report today. “It may take until late 2012 to rebuild both plants,” Thongpak said.

Police adapts to new situation


Toyota, Honda May Not Recover Output Until 2012 With Thai Flood

“They’ve certainly been really unlucky this year.”

Plans by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. to run factories overtime to recoup production lost to parts shortages caused by Japan’s earthquake may be delayed until early 2012 because of flooding in Thailand.

Toyota, Asia’s biggest carmaker, is scaling back output in Japan for a third week and suspended overtime in North America for a second week as disruptions from the floods spread. Honda is temporarily eliminating overtime and running North American plants at half capacity until next week as Japan’s third-largest automaker assesses its inventory.

BORNEO POST: Mukhriz offers two options to auto companies affected by Thai floods

Even Borneo feels the effects of the Thai flooding…

Mukhriz offers two options to auto companies affected by Thai floods

He said they could either use the existing capacity in Malaysia to support their factories in Thailand in order to complete their parts and components for overseas exports, or look at Malaysia as a base to manufacture more of these components.

“We understand that these companies must ensure that their operations are not affected by the floods but at the same time, we must be careful as we don’t want to be seen as taking advantage of our neighbour’s situation,” he said yesterday.
Mukhriz said the ministry had received enquiries from companies from all sectors including automotive that were affected by the Thai floods.

Thailand floods forcing Honda production cuts in Lincoln Read more: Anniston Star - Thailand floods forcing Honda production cuts in Lincoln

Honda’s plant in Lincoln will reduce production — but not employment — starting Wednesday due to parts shortages caused by recent flooding in Thailand.

Upper management at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln announced to employees today that production would be reduced by as much as 50 percent from Wednesday through Nov. 10, said Honda spokesman Mark Morrison in a phone interview. Also, production will cease completely on Nov. 11, he said.

Read more: Anniston Star - Thailand floods forcing Honda production cuts in Lincoln

THE NATION: Flood impacts remain ruinous

Honda Automobile (Thailand), while announcing that its motorcycle and power-part-manufacturing subsidiary would suspend operations only until Nov 4 Friday, said: "The company does not have a clear outlook for when vehicle production will resume, as its facilities remain flooded since October 8." The autoassembly plant in Rojana Industrial Park, Ayutthaya, was inundated on that date, but its parts suppliers were flooded four days before.
More than 400 Japanese auto manufacturers and electronics firms in six industrial parks north of Bangkok have been affected by the flood disaster.

Aon Report on Thai Floods Highlights ‘Extreme Human Suffering,’ Economic Loss’

Check this one out - a different kind of article on the Thai flooding.

Aon Benfield has published a highly detailed report on the ongoing floods in Thailand, from their meteorological beginnings – extremely heavy monsoon rains – to the widespread damage they have inflicted on one of East Asia’s most vibrant economies – $6.5 billion, and counting.

The report notes that “Thailand has declared a third of its provinces to be disaster zones as the country battles rising flood waters. The flooding situation is likely to continue for a few more weeks and has been bearing down on Bangkok over the past few days. The Thai capital sits on the bottom of a flood plain which has an average elevation of less than 2m (a little over 6 feet) above sea level.”

Read more here.

Vaidya Says Toyota, Honda Most Affected by Thai Floods

Vivek Vaidya, automotive and transportation director at researcher Frost & Sullivan, talks about the outlook for Japanese automakers. Honda Motor Co. fell the most in more than a week after the Nikkei newspaper reported the company may take six months to resume production in Thailand after its factory became flooded. Vaidya speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move Asia."

Toyota readies plants for worst-case floods

CHACHOENGSAO : Although Toyota Motor Thailand says the worst-case scenario is unlikely, the country's largest automobile manufacturer is still preparing flood prevention plans for its three plants, two of which face flooding risks.

BANGKOK POST: Toyota: Water control first order

"A car has 20,000 to 30,000 parts, and production will not be complete if even one part is missing," he said.

The government should focus on the flood situation before talking about rehabilitation plans for businesses, says Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT).

"We want the government to solve the flooding first so we can assess the damage. This is affecting not only Thailand, but also [company operations in] Japan and the rest of the world too. Rehabilitation plans can come later," said President Kyoichi Tanada after a crisis meeting with industry permanent secretary Witoon Simachokdee.

The Industrial Estate Association earlier proposed that the government rehabilitate flood-hit industrial estates within 45 days, although Mr Tanada said that time line would differ for individual factories.

INAUTONEWS: Thailand Floods: The Automotive Industry Has Lost $13bn So Far

After the Japanese automakers, Ford announced that has suspended output in Thailand on parts-supply shortages, despite fears it may lose production of 30,000 vehicles.
“We are working closely with our affected suppliers to return to production as quickly as possible,” Lewis Booth, chief financial officer at the Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker, said.
Toyota Motor Corp on Thursday said it would keep its Thai production suspended for a fourth week and reduce output in North America and South Africa.
Further, production from October 31 through November 5 will be adjusted based on an ongoing assessment of the parts supply situation at each individual production line the company said.
In addition, Toyota must now cut extra hours and weekend shifts at some plants from Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Canada. These measures are meant to conserve parts as the company faced serious disruptions due to a shortage of parts imported from suppliers in Thailand.

Thailand floods stall automakers


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Still recovering from the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown disaster, Asian automakers are now getting hit by another ecological nightmare: floods.

Toyota, whose production capacity in Thailand is over 550,000 vehicles per year, said in a statement Thursday that a production halt at three plants in Thailand, in place since October 10, will remain at least until November 5.

As a result of this supply disruption, Toyota will suspend production at several North American plants on Saturday and will suspend overtime at all North American assembly plants next week. Production at facilities in South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam will also be slowed.

Honda said this week that floodwaters had entered one of its plants outside Bangkok that has an annual production capacity of 120,000 and has been closed since October 4.

"Due to the inability to ac…

REUTERS: Thai floods batter global electronics, auto supply chains

Floods affect auto production from Thailand to N.America

* Deep supply chain links cut costs, but breaks prove expensive

BANGKOK/TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Manufacturers of car parts are worst hit in Thailand and face a bleak key holiday selling season due to massive floods, which have shut down production.

Japanese car makers that had just started to recover from the March earthquake and tsunami that disrupted their supply chains are now facing shortages of key parts made in Thailand, a key manufacturing base in Southeast Asia.

Companies including Toyota Motor Co and Honda Motor Co have already curtailed production at plants as far away as North America because their Thai suppliers are under water.


Toyota Motor officials in Thailand said the company had shifted ready-made parts used to produce pick-up trucks and modified pick-up trucks to its Gateway City facility in Thailand's Chachoengsao province.

The facility there is 44 meters above sea level, said Vudhigorn Suriya…

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Thai flooding disrupts Japanese auto production

Toyota and other major automakers have begun scaling back production because of parts shortages from suppliers in flood-afflicted Thailand, just months after Japan’s own supply chains were decimated by a mammoth earthquake and tsunami.

The production woes stemming from Thailand’s worst flooding in five decades — which has wiped out hundreds of factories in recent weeks — come just as Toyota and others bounce back from the March 11 quake disaster that destroyed autos parts suppliers in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region and upended car production around the world.

REED TRADEX: Metalex postponed to 21–24 December 2011

Letter from REED TRADEX in it's entirety:

Dear Exhibitors, delegates, participants and supporters of METALEX, Reed Tradex has been monitoring the on-going flood situation in Thailand and updating ourselves daily regarding the vulnerability of Bangkok being affected in the coming weeks. We have consulted with many individuals and groups in order to assess what should be done in the best interest of all our local and foreign exhibitors, delegates, visitors and supporters. Although efforts at draining floodwater and rectification measures by authorities have been in place to minimize the impact, the situation remains difficult to predict.  While the central business district as well as the exhibition venue remain unaffected for now, it is generally accepted that the water overflow could eventually disrupt movement around Bangkok and the outlying areas.  This would inevitably mean that the scheduled timing of the event in 16-19 November 2011 is no longer appropriate as we place any risk …

NZ HERALD: Thai floods swamp flow of utes

Toyota New Zealand just took orders for 300 top-selling Hilux utes - but now is struggling to supply the one-tonne vehicles as factories which supply parts to its plants in Thailand are flooded.

A ship that was to have left Thailand last week was supposed to have 220 Hilux utes on it, but only had 26 of the top-selling farm vehicles on board.

Car output loss put at 150,000 units in Oct-Nov

Auto production this month and next is expected to fall by about 150,000 units if major carmakers cannot resume operations soon, said Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol.

Though many car-assembly plants are not flooded, their parts suppliers are, so they have had to suspend production. However, they are seeking ways to source the parts from overseas suppliers so as to resume operations, said Suparat Sirisuwannangura, president of the FTI's Automotive Industry Club.

Thai Floods: Automotive industry down for at least one more week

Honda, probably the most affected automaker, on Tuesday said it has halted all its operations in Malaysia due to parts shortage caused by the floods in Thailand. Supplies from Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co. Ltd and other major suppliers which supply to Honda Malaysia have been interrupted because of the floods. The automaker has brought in 200 soldiers to secure its motorcycle plant in Bangkok, Thailand’s. Honda’s automotive factory in the Ayutthaya province has already overflowed, so the soldiers were brought in using personal ties to build a levy around a motorcycle facility. Toyota stopped production at the three plants from October 10 as some suppliers were severely damaged by the nation’s worst flooding in decades, causing delays in supplying parts.

Fabrinet Reports Impact Due to Severe Flooding in Thailand

AFG Member Fabrinet affected by flooding:

Fabrinet (NYSE: FN), a provider of precision optical, electro-mechanical and electronic manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers of complex products, today announced an update on the impacts of flooding in Thailand.

Fabrinet today announced that as of approximately 11:00PM Saturday night, Bangkok time, flood waters had infiltrated the offices and manufacturing floorspace at its Chokchai campus in Pathum Thani, Thailand. The manufacturing buildings at Chokchai, known as buildings 1 and 2, remain filled with water to a level of approximately 3.5 feet. Prior to the factory infiltration, the company took precautionary measures, where possible, to move or protect production and test equipment, inventory and tooling. The company has not yet been able to make a full assessment of the damage but believes it is unlikely that production would recommence at Chokchai for the remainder of the current quarter.

THE STAR: Severe Thai flooding forces Toyota, Honda, Isuzu and Ford to stop ops

PETALING JAYA: Just months after production of Japanese cars recovered following the massive earthquake and tsunami, Japanese marques in Thailand have been hit by a flood crisis that threatens to stall production once again.

Vehicle plants operated by Toyota, Honda, Isuzu and Ford in Thailand have been closed due to the crisis.

Many car and electronics manufacturers located in Ayutthaya province were affected by severe flooding.

Also, Malaysian companies such as Eng Teknologi Holdings Bhd said two of its subsidiaries operating in Ayutthaya had temporarily shut down their operations because of the floods. It believed the extent of the damage would be covered by insurance.

VW Likely to Overtake Toyota as Top Carmaker in 2011, GM to Remain Second

Volkswagen AG (VOW) will probably become the world’s biggest carmaker this year, vaulting past Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and General Motors Co. (GM) on gains in emerging markets.

VW sales in China may rise almost 20 percent in 2011 and more than double in India, according to estimates at researcher J.D. Power & Associates. That’s a contrast to Toyota, which is suspending Southeast Asian plants because of floods in Thailand, months after an earthquake crippled production in Japan.

Industrial estates to be rehabilitated within 45 days after water recedes: Commerce Minister

Thailand’s seven industrial estates that were flooded will be rehabilitated within 45 days after floodwaters recede with government financial aid, Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong said Monday.

After meeting with engaged agencies and industrial entrepreneurs of the flooded industrial tracts—which comprise a significant portion of Thailand’s industrial capacity—the Factory Land, Saha Rattana Nakhon, Bang Pa-in, Rojana and Hi-Tech in the nearby central province of Ayutthaya, as well as the Bangkadi and Nava Nakorn estates in Pathum Thani.

Impact Of Thailand Floods On Automotive Industry And Supply Chain - Frost & Sullivan Analyst Comment

Click here for the whole article.

Analyst Comment by Vivek Vaidya, Vice President, APAC, Automotive & Transportation, and Vijay Rao, Research Manager, APAC, Automotive & Transportation

Thailand has been inundated with severe floods in its recent history, and the automotive sector which has an annual production capacity of about 2 million units in 2010, is one of the hardest hit industries. The recent inundation of floods in Thailand has not only had a major effect on local automotive production and supply chain disturbances but is also likely to have a short  term effect on the regional and global supply of automotive parts and vehicle exports.

Impact of the Flooding in Thailand - Current Situation: Halt of Automotive Production in Thailand Assembly Plants

Thailand is currently experiencing the worst flooding in the last five decades. 26 of the 90 provinces in Thailand have been affected by floods and automotive assembly plants and parts maker factories located mainly in and aroun…

REUTERS: Thai floods cripple over 300 Japanese firms -JETRO

At least 300 Japanese companies have been affected by flooding in Thailand and it could be months before all are fully up and running again, the local head of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) said on Monday.

Floods have forced a series of huge industrial estates to close, the latest being the Nava Nakorn Industrial Zone in Pathum Thani province north of Bangkok, which has more than 270 plants employing 270,000 workers.

That is seriously hampering the work of Japanese firms that have made Thailand their manufacturing and export base for Southeast Asia, Setsuo Iuchi, the president of JETRO Thailand, told Reuters.

Flood Map with English Navigation


Technology demand on the rise

As leading auto maker Isuzu and newcomer Chery announced the operations of their new assembly plants in Thailand to serve higher export demands and local consumption, auto and parts makers will certainly be in search for new technologies and innovations to handle upcoming production challenges and promote productivity.

Check out the advance info for AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING 2012

BANGKOK POST: Ayutthaya HI-TECH Industrial estate on the cusp of inundation

Floodwater is close to the point of overflowing the earthen barrier protecting the Hi-Tech Industrial Estate in Bang Pa-in district of Ayutthaya.

Wall Street Journal: Floods Force Auto Makers in Thailand to Halt Production

Thailand's auto exporters are being hit by supply-chain disruptions following the worst flooding the country has seen in nearly half a century.

The Southeast Asian nation is a major production and export hub for global auto makers, including Toyota Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., and all three have now shut their plants in the country after weeks of worsening flooding overwhelmed a cluster of component plants in Ayutthaya, 67 kilometers, or 42 miles, north of Bangkok. Isuzu Motors Ltd. also halted production on Tuesday at its two Thai plants due to disruptions in parts supplies.

HONDA Factory inundated in Ayutthaya

Some helicopter footage from the HONDA Plant in Ayutthaya.

Bangkok Post: Ford among giants hurt by flood disruptions

US-based Ford Motor has become the latest casualty of severe flooding in Thailand, with its assembly plant in Rayong halting production for at least 48 hours because suppliers in Ayutthaya have been severely hit by floods.

The second-largest US automaker said yesterday that production was suspended at the AutoAlliance Thailand facility for the next 48 hours to make a full assessment of inventory and logistics continuity.

The company's production facilities in Rayong have not been affected by the floods.

"Vehicles produced at AAT have a very high local content," said Peter Fleet, the president of Ford Asean. "A significant number of our parts suppliers are located in Ayutthaya. That's why we have to stop production for 48 hours to check out the suppliers, although our factory has not been affected by the floods."

Thailand Flood Maps

Check out the 'official' flood maps:  and

Doesn't look good for Samut Prakan and Chonburi.

Cars submerged in floodwaters at a Honda factory outside Ayutthaya on October 11.

Amazing photo on MSNBC Photoblog

Isuzu: To Halt Production In Thailand Until Friday Due To Parts Shortages

Isuzu Motors Ltd said Tuesday that it will halt production at its two plants in Thailand due to a disruption in supplies of some parts after the flood in the country.
The Japanese truck maker will start halting operations at the two plants from the night shift on Tuesday and keep them idled until Friday, a spokesman at the company said.
Thailand is facing its worst flood in decades, with around 30 of its 77 provinces inundated and over 260 people killed so far.

Yingluck says city ill prepared for floods

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has admitted that Bangkok's flood prevention system has not been completed and her government is racing against time and the rising waters.

Racing sands of time Foreign and Thai students of Rangsit University shovel sand into bags to make a flood wall along Khlong Rangsit. The canal, which is fed by the Chao Phraya River, is threatening to inundate the university and Muang Ake housing estate in Pathum Thani’s Muang district. THITI WANNAMONTHA

In response to the situation, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has set up nearly 200 shelters to cater for possible evacuations.

100,000 Ayutthaya factory jobs threatened

About 100,000 workers face losing their jobs because of the disastrous flooding in Ayutthaya province.

Damage to the industrial sector alone in Ayutthaya is valued at roughly 50 billion baht, said Phakorn Wangsirabat, who heads the Federation of Thai Industries in the province, yesterday.

More than 300 of 2,150 factories in Ayutthaya have been affected by floods. So far, Saharattananakorn Industrial Estate and Rojana Industrial Park have been inundated, while Hi-Tech Industrial Estate is at risk with the water level there now at 4 metres, said Mr Pakorn.

Floods cripple economy

Economic ripples from the nationwide flooding are reverberating, with rumours that some Japanese companies will relocate production facilities out of the country as some industrial estates are submerged and many more are threatened.

Distressed companies are pressing for government relief, which could come in the form of a delay to the Bt300 minimum wage as well as other financial assistance.

Industrial estates sent reeling

Almost 200 factories including the plants of leading Japanese car manufacturer Honda and major electronics makers in Ayutthaya have been forced to close and evacuate workers.

Bangkok Post: North and east Bangkok considered vulnerable

The government is calling on the public to donate about 700,000 sandbags to guard Bangkok against the coming floodwater from the North.

Rescue officials ride a boat along inundated Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya’s Uthai district to take stranded workers to safety.

Massive floods threaten Thai capital

Thailand's worst floods in more than half a century are threatening to swamp the capital, Bangkok, as early as next week after reaching a "crisis level," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said. At least 253 people have been killed as a result of the seasonal monsoon rains that have hit the country since July 25, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on its website. About 30 of Thailand's 77 provinces remain underwater, the agency said. Read more here

ASIA ONE: Thai factories inundated after embankment collapses

Many factories in the Rojana Industrial Park of flood-hit Ayutthaya were heavily inundated yesterday evening after a section of a six-metre-high earth-filled embankment collapsed under high water pressure. Efforts to repair the two-metre-long collapsed section continued into the night. A Honda Automobile (Thailand) factory, which is located right in front of the damaged section, was the first to be hit by the rushing flood waters. The Honda factory was under 30 centimetres of water.

AFP: Thai PM scraps foreign trips amid flood crisis

BANGKOK — Thailand's worst floods in decades have prompted the country's premier to postpone official visits to Singapore and Malaysia, a spokeswoman said on Sunday, as Bangkok braces for rising waters.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last week described the flooding, which has left more than 250 people dead and inundated huge swathes of the kingdom as a "serious crisis" and warned that the capital would not escape unscathed.

AL JAZEERA: Flood is getting worse

More than two million people have been affected by widespread flooding in Thailand, in what is the worst monsoon season in 50 years. The country is seeing its second month of flooding.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as swollen rivers and flood-control dykes burst.

There are now fears that flooding will spread to the capital, Bangkok.

Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay reports from Ayutthaya, one of the worst hit areas.

BLOOMBERG: Thailand Floods Reach Crisis Level, Threaten Bangkok, Prime Minister Says

Thailand’s worst floods in more than half a century have reached a “crisis level” and threaten to swamp the capital, Bangkok, as early as next week, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said. “This will have a direct impact on Bangkok,” Yingluck said late yesterday in a nationally televised address. “We have to admit that this is more serious than in the past.”
Flooded FactoriesMore than a hundred factories producing auto parts, food and electronics have temporarily closed, according to the Federation of Thai Industries. Online Seminars to Feature Experts Discussing Keys to Automotive Supplier Success in Mexico, Russia and Thailand Markets

CHECK THIS OUT:, a unique marketplace for intelligence and resources for doing business in international markets, today announced leading automotive experts Leo Torres de Unanue, Yuri Danilov, George Strampp and Uli Kaiser will make guest presentations via 60-minute live online seminars on succeeding in the automotive markets of Mexico, Russia and Thailand.

On December 1, Mr. Strampp and Mr. Kaiser will present "Manufacturing in Thailand: Challenges and Opportunities" at 9:00 am EST - Detroit time / 15.00 hrs. Brussels time / 21.00 hrs. Shanghai time.

CARTRADEINDIA: Thailand auto industry grows strong

Thailand's automobile industry has shown immense growth in the recent times. The automotive industry of Thailand has managed to live up to its title 'Detroit of Asia', for a long time now. As a result, leading car makers have started to throng the place….

Chinese car makers looking to localize in Thailand

Several China-based auto-makers are currently preparing or considering to switch from importing to production in Thailand, a crucial step of localization aiming at shaking off import duties and augmenting ompetitiveness, and also a skillful move to bring themselves closer to the booming southeastern Asian market.
In a tariff-fee zone about 100 kilometers east to the capital city Bangkok, workers are busy with all the metal-fusion and concrete-building, reving up their work under the supervision of Chen Rongyu, chairman of DFM Minitruck Thailand.

Click here to read more….

AFG Meeting - 23 September - Presentation Materials

The presentations for last Friday's AFG Meeting GREEN MANUFACTURING - PROFITABLE MANUFACTURING are ready for download:

Video (Laser Welding System for Differential Carrier / Ring Gear)

Thanks for your interest!

Uli Kaiser

MMC, PTT to jointly test electric vehicles

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh), MMC's subsidiary in Thailand, signed an agreement with PTT Public (PTT), a Thailand-based energy company, to jointly test the i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle (EV).

Proton and Mitsubishi Motors to Pursue Broad Ranging Strategic Collaboration

PROTON Holdings Berhad (PROTON) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that they are in serious discussion for strategic collaboration to further strengthen the competitiveness of both PROTON and MMC in the global marketplace.

The collaborative items being considered between the two parties are set to cover areas and activities such as:

1. Joint production of engines in Malaysia

2. Consignment production of MMC-brand vehicles at PROTON facilities

3. Sharing of major parts and components between MMC's "Global Small", which is to be launched next March starting in Thailand, and PROTON's upcoming "Global Small Car"

4. Provision of MMC's future technologies such as electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicle technology

The two companies had jointly proceeded with feasibility studies since late 2010 and have identified these areas of collaboration that could be expected to provide both parties with the right synergy in the pursuit of global compet…

First-Time Car Buyers Tax Deduction not very Street wise

Thai Government believes that its first-car buyer program will contribute to the growth of the automotive industry, which has become a driving force for the Thai economy.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on September 13, approved guidelines to refund taxes for first-time car buyers. At the same meeting, it approved a central fund of 100 million baht from the 2012 national budget to carry out the program and another fund of 30 billion baht from the 2013 national budget for tax refunds.According to the scheme, car buyers eligible for tax refunds must be at least 21 years old.

Toyota to Boost Indonesian Output

JAKARTA—Toyota Motor Corp. said it would crank up production in Indonesia by more than 60% in a move to maintain its dominant position in Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Japan's largest auto maker said Tuesday that it will invest around $340 million to build a new factory which will lift its capacity to 180,000 vehicles a year in Indonesia by the middle of 2013, from about 110,000 vehicles

Thai Automakers slam plan

The government's first-car buyer scheme has drawn strong criticism from industry executives, who say not all automakers will enjoy the same benefits and the government might end up having to raise taxes in the long run to offset the revenue shortfall.

The Pheu Thai government's plan to allow tax deductions for first-car purchases will result in an uneven playing field for all manufacturers, said Piengjai Keawsuwan, president of the Thai Automotive Industry Association.

AAM expands its manufacturing presence in Asia with new facility in Thailand

Rayong, Thailand, September 9, 2011 - American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc., (AAM) which is traded as AXL on the NYSE, today announced the grand opening of its Rayong Manufacturing Facility, located in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in the Rayong Province of Thailand.

Joseph S. Tang, the plant manager of Rayong Manufacturing Facility, will oversee the facility's manufacture of highly engineered and proven driveline products for the region. Products manufactured at the facility include front axles, rear axles; and driveshafts.

BorgWarner Launches New Silent Chain for Hyundai and KIA GDI Engines

BorgWarner recently launched its new silent chain for the balance shaft drive on Hyundai's Theta II four-cylinder gas direct-injection (GDI) and turbo-GDI engines. These engines power the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Sorento, K5 and Sportage for the U.S. and South Korea. Designed to withstand the harsh environment and stresses of GDI engines, the new silent chain delivers lower noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and greater durability compared with roller chain systems for balance drive applications.

Vietnam Auto sales jump 10% in August

New vehicle sales in Vietnam jumped by 9.8% to 9,518 units in August, from 8,671 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Indonesia’s Stock Market Value to Lure Investors, Panin Says

Indonesian stocks have become more attractive to overseas investors after the world’s fourth-most populous nation overtook Malaysia as Southeast Asia’s second- largest equities market by value, PT Panin Sekuritas said.

Deutsche Bank believes that Valuation of the US Auto & Auto Parts Sectors Have Reached a Compelling Levels

Analysts at Deutsche Bank states that following up on several auto and auto parts companies in the US, it does not appear that any suppliers have noticed material changes to production forecasts in North America or Europe, but all management teams appear to be contemplating downside scenarios and contingency plans; particularly for Europe. They pick Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) as their Top Pick among auto parts suppliers. They maintain a Buy rating on the shares of Lear with a price target of $64.

Japan seeks luxury-car tariff cut

Japan has asked Thailand to speed up reducing tariffs on luxury cars under an agreement that has been stalled for four years.

The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) that took effect in 2007 calls for cutting the import tax on cars with engines above 3,000 cc by 5% annually until 2010.

The current rate stands at 80%.

GKN to acquire Getrag’s Driveline Products Business

In case you haven't heard:

GKN plc announced in July 2011 its agreement to acquire the all-wheel-drive (AWD) components businesses of Getrag KG, the privately held German company controlled by the Hagenmeyer family. The businesses being acquired, together referred to as “Getrag Driveline Products”, are Getrag Corporation, a joint venture with Dana Corporation based in the United States, and Getrag All Wheel Drive AB, a joint venture with Dana Holding Corporation and Volvo Car Corporation based in Sweden.

Click here to read more.

Asia Precision goes public

Asia Precision (APCS), a maker of metal parts, will launch an initial public offering of 87.25 million shares between late September and early October, likely the same period for its listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Click here to read the full story.

Chinese Car Design

Interesting article – I like the XIAKE….

Thailand: Auto output seen reaching 2 million in 2012

Automotive production in Thailand is expected to reach approximately two million units in 2012, up from around 1.8 million units this year. The Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA) projected this figure, and attributed the increase in output to high domestic and overseas demand.

Thailand's Auto Production To Reach 2 Million Units In 2012

Sounds good...

PATTAYA MAIL: TAI keeps faith in auto biz in 2011

Thailand’s automotive industry is expected to revive strongly in the latter half of 2011 after receiving serious impacts from the devastation of a powerful earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March.

AFG Meeting: Hemaraj Technical College Presentation

This Tuesday more than 40 members and associates participated at the AFG Meeting held at the Conference Center at ESIE Plaza I, Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate.

The presentation focussed on the status and future of education of Thai workers – and a significant gap between the industry requirements and the available human resource.

As a response, Hemaraj plans to set up a Technical College based partly on the German apprentice system to offer technical education to Thai workers.

This excellent presentation by Khun Preeprem Malasitt, Special Project Director at Hemaraj about the Hemaraj Technical College Project is now online and ready for download.

Sunday Candy: Everything you need to know about electric cars

Everything?  not, but interesting nevertheless

The Future of the Thai Auto Industry

Thailand's auto industry is targeting production of 3 million vehicles annually by 2015, pushing the country into the top 10 from its present 12th ranking.

Atchaka Sibunruang, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BoI), last Thursday said automobiles are a core local industry, as evidenced by the 1.65 million vehicles produced last year.

CHINA DAILY: Japan taps Indonesia as car production base

And China will also be 'tapping' in very soon I guess...

JAKARTA - Indonesia's improving investment climate and high automobile sales led two major Japanese car makers, Daihatsu and Suzuki, to name the country their production base for global and regional markets, local media reported here on Wednesday.

Industry Minister MS Hidayat announced on Tuesday that Daihatsu would hold a ground-breaking ceremony on May 20 to mark the beginning of the construction of its new production facility in Karawang, West Java.

"The investment value for the factory is 2.1 trillion rupiah ( about $245 million)," he said at his office here.

Private sector wishes for stability

The local and foreign business communities hope the country can finally get back on track with political stability, economic expansion and fairer competition under a new government.

"Thailand should move forward and concentrate more on promoting economic growth after the country had been falling behind others because of the political conflict," Nandor von der Luehe, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, said yesterday.

Thailand's appeal strong despite challenges

Thailand's new government should look at improving the country's already good infrastructure to make it difficult to resist for foreign investors, most of whom continue to have a positive long-term outlook despite political ups and downs.

"What is needed is the development of infrastructure and long-term planning," said Peter Eliot, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand and the country head of Citibank.

JAKARTA GLOBE: Indonesia’s Growth Potential Putting Automakers in Gear

Indonesia’s automotive sector is experiencing a surge of investment that could take it back to its glory days in the 1990s, and possibly even overtake Thailand as the Detroit of Southeast Asia.

Johnny Darmawan, president director of Toyota Astra Motor, said that with the country’s strong economic growth, young population and availability of resources, it was inevitable the company would step up its investment plans here.

THE STAR MALAYSIA: Drop in June car sales

PETALING JAYA: The amendments to the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 (HPA) that took effect on June 15 has caused delays in vehicle registrations and should result in lower total industry sales for the month.

Car players said the drop did not mean people were buying fewer cars but reflected the longer time to book a sale and they expect the registration numbers to smoothen out in July.

Facelifts scheduled for popular pickups in H2

Competition in the local pickup truck market is expected to intensify as many major producers start introducing new models or updated versions of popular mainstays in the second half of this year.

Toyota Motor Thailand on July 13 will introduce updated versions of its Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup and pickup-based Fortuner sport utility vehicle (SUV), which have been brisk sellers the past seven years.

Rivals Isuzu, General Motors, Ford, Mazda and Nissan will follow suit.

Jatco shifting to Thailand

Jatco Co, a Japanese maker of automobile transmissions, will build a 7.6-billion-baht plant in Thailand to diversify risks arising from the strong yen and natural disasters at home.

The plant in Chon Buri will open in mid-2013 with annual production of 500,000 continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), making it the first manufacturer of the product in Thailand.

Research and Markets: Thailand Autos Report Q3 2011 - Overall Expansion In The Order Of 10% Is Comfortably Within Reach In 2011

Good News ….
New vehicles sales in Thailand showed significant growth over 2010, rising by 45.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach 800,357 units, according to figures released by the Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA). This sales performance reflected the strong recovery in consumer demand seen in Thailand across the course of the year, even against a backdrop of continued political strife.

We believe that output of vehicles in Thailand (inclusive of all producers operating in the country) is on course to expand 15% over 2011, before slowing down to an annual growth rate of around 8% over the remainder of our forecast period to 2015.

Thailand aims for top 10 carmaking status by 2015

Thailand's auto industry is targeting production of 3 million vehicles annually by 2015, pushing the country into the top 10 from its present 12th ranking.

Atchaka Sibunruang, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BoI), last Thursday said automobiles are a core local industry, as evidenced by the 1.65 million vehicles produced last year.

Thailand Manufacturing Expo

Get ready for Thailand’s highly-anticipated cluster on international exhibitions of machinery and technologies for industrial part manufacturing, Manufacturing Expo 2011. This event will allow you to discover the latest machinery and technologies for key industries with supporting elements (such as automotive, electronics, plastic, mold & die), learn extraordinary knowledge, meet your peers and new business partners while obtaining excellent networking opportunities.

“Manufacturing Expo 2011” provides a  one stop shop for those involved in industrial parts manufacturing through a combination of four upscale exhibitions on machinery and technology:

InterPlas Thailand 2011 for plastic and rubber
InterMold Thailand 2011 for mold and die making
Automotive Manufacturing 2011 for automotive parts
Assembly Technology 2011 on automation and robotics for assembly and production lines

China Auto Sales Will Likely Miss 2011 Target

BEIJING—Sales growth in China's automobile sector will likely fall short of the industry's annual forecast after sales declined in May over a year ago for a second consecutive month.

Total vehicle sales in China, the world's largest auto market, reached 1.38 million units in May, down 3.98% compared with the same month a year earlier, and following a 0.25% year-to-year decline in April, the association said. Sales in the January-May period reached 7.9 million units, up 4.06% on year.

Most Thai Manufacturers Unaware Of How To Implement...

Strange Press Release in THE NATION:

Close to 20% of Thai manufacturers areadvanced adopters of Lean manufacturing with majority coming from the automotive and electrical/electronics goods sectors, according to the results of IDC Manufacturing Insights' latestLean adoption survey.

AutoV Acquires Proreka (M) Sdn Bhd

AutoV Corporation Bhd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with other shareholders to acquire a 100 per cent equity interest in Proreka (M) Sdn Bhd for a total consideration of RM27.88 million.

BMW Malaysia to increase Kulim plant production by 50%

BMW is booming in Malaysia
CYBERJAYA: BMW Group Malaysia will be ramping up production at its local assembly facilities in Kulim, Kedah, by 50% for 2011, in line with its increased investment and the creation of more skilled jobs within the Malaysian automotive industry.

Autoliv Expands Airbag Capacity New Airbag Cushion Plant in Thailand

Good news from Stockholm:
To support the rapid growth in vehicle production and airbag fitment rates in Asia, Autoliv Inc. – the global leader in automotive safety systems – has begun the construction of an airbag cushion manufacturing plant in Chonburi, near Bangkok. Autoliv’s existing airbag cushion plant in Thailand opened just two years ago.

Thailand begins to feel aftershocks

BANGKOK POST: Auto slump takes toll on economy in April
Disruption in the automobile and electronics supply chains as a result of the March tsunami in Japan resulted in a slowdown in the Thai economy in April, according to the Bank of Thailand.

But economic trends are expected to improve over the next few months.

Dennis Hong: Making a car for blind drivers

Too Cool

Honda back on track by September

Bangkok Post:
After struggling for more than two months, Honda's Thailand plant will be back to normal by September, a few months behind its rivals.

Production of the Honda Brio, Thailand's second eco-car after the Nissan March, will start next month and will gradually increase to full capacity by September.

Japan Appears Dispensable as a Supplier

NY TIMES makes you think…..
Maybe Japan is not as crucial to the global supply chain as those first weeks after the earthquake made it seem.

Auto Institute Expects 30,000 Motorcycle Sales Related to Election Campaigns

The Thailand Automotive Institute expects 30,000 motorcycles to be purchased by political parties for use in their election campaigns, especially in the provinces.

Director of the Thailand Automotive Institute, Wanlop Tiasiri expects at least 30,000 motorcycles to be purchased by political parties during this election season, as canvassers will use them in their campaign activities, particularly in the provinces.

Creative economy immune to politics

Thailand's efforts to build a creative economy will continue no matter who forms the government after the July election, say officials in charge of the programme.

Strategic plans for the creative economy are now on the national agenda contained in the 11th National Economic and Social Development (NESDB) plan and will be financed from the central budget, said Pajchima Tanasanti, director-general of the Intellectual Property Department.