Showing posts from February, 2012

Toyota pours more investment to Thailand

Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan on Wednesday announced Bt6 billion investment to increase its engine production in Thailand, showing yet another mark of confidence to the Thai economy despite the great floods last year.

In a statement, the company said that through the investment through Siam Toyota Manufacturing Co Ltd (STM), the production capacity of Toyota Corolla ZR benzene engines will be raised by 100,000 units annually, creating around 200 new additional jobs, from 3,000 at present. The expansion will include increasing the capacity for the casting of aluminum materials. The expansion programme at the plant in Amata-Nakorn Industrial Estate, Chon Buri, is projected to be completed in 2014.

Bangkok Post: Just-in-time in doubt after deluge

Manufacturers are diversifying parts supplies to minimise the risk of flood-related disruptions. Some are even questioning whether the widely accepted practice of lean manufacturing makes sense.

Automotive and electronics companies were especially hit hard by last year's floods, the most severe in 69 years, as they were buying from component makers concentrated in the heavily inundated provinces of Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani.

AFG Meeting – 17th of February 2012

With an excellent 'turnout' of about 60 members and friends of the AFG the Annual General Meeting was held. A detailed report was already sent to the members.

Supachai Manusphaibool publisher of the monthly “Thai Labor Chronicle” and Wasantachai Watanavongvisudhi partner of International Legal Counsellors of Thailand presented an interesting seminar on the definition of this new minimum wage according to the Thai Labour law.

We will post a summary of the 'rules' on the blog within the next few days.

After the meeting the group joined the AUSTCHAM Sundowners networking meeting.

MALAYSIA: Daihatsu building country's first auto transmission plant

Daihatsu Motor Co., the Japanese automaker known mostly for its smaller models and off-road vehicles said Wednesday it will invest about 5 billion yen in southwestern Malaysia to build automatic transmissions.

The Japanese automaker aims to start operating the plant in the Sendayan Industrial Park in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan in November 2013 with an annual production capacity of 150,000 units.

Thai auto production rises to 4-month high in January

Thailand’s automobile production in January significantly increased to 140,404 units, marking the highest level in the past four months since the megaflood submerged a number of provinces in October, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Thai Automotive January output kickstarts into drive

The Thai automotive industry kicked off the year impressively with production surging in January over the previous month.

The industry was battered by floods last October and November but started recovering in December.

Total automobile production in January dropped by 3.98% year-on-year but increased by 41.2% from December to 140,404 units, the highest level since the industry was hit by the flood crisis.

Manila: Ford sales dropped 47% in January

Ford Group Philippines posted a 47-percent drop in vehicle sales to 367 units in January this year, from the 688 it sold in the same month last year, as the flood crisis in Thailand continued to take its toll on the supply and delivery of its vehicles.

THE GUARDIAN: Thailand flooding costs Lloyd's of London $2.2bn

Lloyd's of London has estimated that it is liable for $2.22bn (£1.4bn) of net claims from the flooding that devastated Thailand last year.

In a first calculation of its liability for the damage, released on Tuesday, the insurance market said the claims were unlikely to require members to make "material claims" on its central fund or reduce the overall level of capitalisation of the market.

AFG in the News...

Check out this article on the last AFG meeting.

VW in talks with Proton, looks to grow regional presence

German automotive giant Volkswagen is looking to gain a bigger foothold in ASEAN and is now in talks with local carmaker Proton for a possible manufacturing tie-up, a Bloomberg reported today quoting a source.
According to the report, Volkswagen’s renewed interest stems from the recent takeover of the national carmaker by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary’s DRB-HICOM last month.

Volkswagen already has an existing relationship with DRB-HICOM, having sealed an assembly deal for the Passat executive saloon here for re-export in 2010.

Chevrolet Sets New Sales Record in December 2011

Bangkok, Thailand – Chevrolet Sales Thailand outpaced the industry with a new sales record in Thailand in December 2011, achieving a year-to-date growth of 58 percent and selling more than 4,300 vehicles – the highest since Chevrolet began operations in Thailand. Meanwhile, the automaker continued to make headway across major markets in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region, with sales for the region from January to December 2011 totaling 42,297 units, representing a year-to-date (YTD) growth of 46 percent over the same period in 2010.

Continental Automotive hikes capacity ahead of AEC

Continental Automotive (Thailand), local unit of the German maker of injectors and pumps for the auto industry, has allocated Bt600 million for investment this year.

The company is increasing capacity as part of a plan to strengthen production ahead of implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

Managing director Thomas Chambers said that despite the severe flooding last year, the country remained an important regional manufacturing base for the company. Continental has a factory at Amata City Industrial Estate in Rayong province, as well as plants in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Signs of industry recovering

After sustaining heavy blows in 2011, the automobile industry finished the year at 794,000 units, which is about 100,000 units below the original target.

While the Japanese quake and tsunami in March temporarily halted Thai auto production due to parts disruption, it was Thailand's flood crisis that delivered the knockout punch as major auto producers had to cease production for months. Although Honda was the only manufacturer to suffer from severe flooding, other makers also had to halt production due to a shortage of parts as a large number of important suppliers located in Ayutthaya were submerged under water.

However, just three weeks into 2012, there are signs of prosperity once again as Toyota, the largest auto-maker in the country, announced its mid-term investment plan worth almost Bt10 billion that will help the company reach a production figure of 760,000 units per year. Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) president Kyoichi Tanada said Toyota expects the auto market to sell as muc…

Ford Considers Car Assembly in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Ford is considering establishing a new vehicle assembly facility in Indonesia, as it looks to increase its exposure to one of Asia's most promising auto markets.

Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, told reporters gathered for the Delhi Auto Expo that the company is planning to invest in an assembly plant in Indonesia in the near future.

Hinrichs said he is encouraged by the recent strong growth in Indonesian auto sales and the potential for further strong growth. "We expect Indonesia will soon overtake Thailand as the ASEAN's largest market — I cannot say when exactly," he said.

Companies asked to move activities to the Philippines after Thai floods

TWELVE COMPANIES operating in both the Philippines and Thailand have been invited to move business activities here following the impact of the latter’s worst flood in 50 years, a Trade official said yesterday.
Thailand, however, is seen to retain most of its investments even after the disaster through competitive incentive schemes and assistance to businesses affected by the disaster.

"We have short-listed 12 [firms] -- mostly from electronics and automotive parts -- with sister companies here to move their operations here in the Philippines," Trade Undersecretary Cristino L. Panlilio told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview.

"Right now, there is one company in electronics to whom we’re talking and they’re already looking for a location here for their operations," he continued.

Selling Lotus a viable option: Mahathir

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s former prime minister, comments on Proton Holdings Bhd after billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s DRB-Hicom Holdings Bhd agreed to buy a controlling stake from the government.

Mahathir, who helped found Proton and remains an advisor, also comments on whether DRB should sell Proton’s U.K. sports- car arm Group Lotus International Ltd. The former premier made these comments in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

On selling Lotus:

“It is a viable option and I think the new owners of Proton might consider that. But, Lotus is not just a sports-car company. It is an engineering and technology company. It’s selling engineering skills to China and helping people going into the industry.”

Read more: Selling Lotus a viable option: Mahathir

Oriental Metal Industries Set To Become Top Wheel Maker in Malaysia

By investing in a brand-new RM103 million alloy wheel manufacturing plant in the city of Rawang, Selangor, Oriental Metal Industries (M) Sdn. Bhd. or OMI is planning to become the biggest Tier 1 integrated wheel producer in the country.