Showing posts from 2013

Automotive sector to drive Malaysia's competitiveness


THE automotive sector's transformation map has and will continue to make Malaysia competitive, even with challenging free trade pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Malaysia hopes to be a member.

Signs of steady improvement in the sector have been showing in the past decade since the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta), Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement and the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), enabling Malaysia to be on the same page as the leading automotive countries in the world.

"(Global) competitiveness is what we have been preparing for. Right from Afta, the government has been liberalising the industry," said Malaysia Automotive Institute chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

With Afta, for instance, there is nothing to stop automotive manufacturers from using Indonesia to sell their vehicles to the Malaysian market.

Both the trade pacts with Japan and Australia, which come into effect in 2016, will see zero impo…

Toyota starts production at Gateway 2 plant

To meet the rising demand in domestic and overseas markets, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan, and TMT decided to invest about 11,000 million Thai Baht in another new assembly plant in Thailand which is “Gateway 2” at Chachoengsao province to assemble passenger cars with the annual production capacity at the beginning of about 80,000 units with 1,500 employments. As a result, this will increase Toyota total normal production capacity of up to 770,000 units per year. The production at the Gateway 2 plant will start on 26 August 2013.

Thailand invites VW to build eco-cars in Kingdom


Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would like to see German carmaker Volkswagen invest in the manufacture of eco-cars in Thailand, which has attractive investment-promotion policies and a strong automobile industry.

Yingluck met with Volkswagen AG chief executive officer Christian Klingler and discussed problems and obstacles associated with manufacturing eco-cars in Thailand.

Klingler was told that the government has policies to promote regional trade via investment in transport infrastructure, which will facilitate the transport needs of the private sector region-wide. Thailand is in a strong position to be a major regional manufacturing base for vehicles of various brands from several countries.

She welcomed Volkswagen to explore the opportunities for eco-cars in Thailand. The Ministry of Industry and the Board of Investment are ready to provide assistance to the company should it be interested in investing in a plant here, she said.

Klingler said Volkswagen was interest…

Industry Ministry finalising eco-car project policy


The Industry Ministry has announced that conditions for Phase 2 of the eco-car project are nearly finalised and will be forwarded to the Board of Investment (BOI) for next week's meeting.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has expressed concerns that rushing to get approval of Phase 2 of the policy could affect Phase I manufacturers.

Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk will chair a meeting today of the subcommittee for investment promotion policy to discuss Phase 2 of the eco-car policy, according to a ministry source. The results will be forwarded to the BOI meeting to be chaired by Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong next Wednesday.

Planned policy of the eco-car is likely to be announced this year for next year's investment, the source said. Thailand hopes to have produced 3 million eco-cars by 2017. Five carmakers are expected to invest in Phase I of the eco-car project. They are Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Suzuki.

PROTON launches Suprima S

Proton has unveiled a hatchback version of the Prevé saloon - the Suprima S.

Held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre, the Proton Suprima S was unveiled by the advisor of the Proton Group, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, accompanied by Proton executive chairman Mohd Khamil and deputy chief executive officer Lukman Ibrahim.

The company says the new model is its most well-equipped product to date, with the Premium variant offering a host of features never before seen in a Proton model. This includes Proton Infotainment with Android-based Operating System, rear LED light guides, DRL (Daytime Running Lights), Hill-Hold Assist, and Park Assist with front parking sensors.

The Suprima S is powered by Proton's 1.6-litre turbo engine, mated to a seven-speed ProTronic CVT. Proton claims it delivers power and torque equivalent to a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.

Thai auto sales drop 25% in July 2013

Thailand Automotive Industry Statistics - July 2013

Domestic car sales over the month totalled 98,251 units, down 25.4% on July 2012 and a decline of 7.33% on June.

Sales volume stayed below 100,000 units for the first time in 15 months, because car makers had delivered all vehicles ordered under the first car scheme and due to stricter car loan conditions imposed by financial firms.

Car sales over the first seven months of the year stood at 839,046 units, up 13.06% on the same period last year.

A total of 82,710 vehicles were exported in July, down 13.99% on July 2012 and 14.01% on June, Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the Automotive Industry Club, said on Thursday.

The vehicle export value for the month stood at 39.45 billion baht, down 16.21% on July 2012, said Mr Surapong.

Exports over the first seven months of the year (Jan-July) totalled 617,076 units, up 11.54% from the same period last year.

Car exports accounted for 99.07% of the total for-export production output, showing …

Indonesia, Thailand to drive Asean car market to 4.7 million units in 2019, says Frost & Sullivan

The ASEAN automotive market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% (2012-2019) to 4.71 million units in 2019, mainly driven by rapid market expansions in Indonesia and Thailand, market researchers Frost & Sullivan said today.

Check out the whole story here.

VW Plant Indonesia...

According to 'usually well informed sources' VW is planning to announce a plant for passenger vehicles in early September - Start of Production 2017 marking the serious entry of European car industry into ASEAN.

We'll continue to follow the story and keep you posted.

Auto industry faces crossroads ahead of ASEAN trade pact

Via VietNamNet

Viet Nam's automotive industry could face major collapse under commitments to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) which will abolish auto import taxes in 2018.

Mazda cars manufactured by Vina Mazda, a subsidiary of Mazda, at the Quang Nam-based Chu Lai – Truong Hai Complex roll off the production line.
ASEAN + will waive taxes on car imports between ASEAN member countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and China, who are party to the agreement.
The tax cut poses a disastrous threat to Viet Nam's fledgling auto industry, unable to compete with the price and quality of imports.
"If we do not make immediate measures, Viet Nam would become a big auto importer in the region" said Ngo Van Tru, Deputy Head of the Heavy Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The last chance

It has been 20 years since foreign car makers first built factories in Viet Nam. In spite of a long history of Government investment, Viet Nam's auto industry faces significan…

Malaysia: Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement likely to benefit car companies


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s impending involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has set tongues wagging about the potential impact it would have on various industries in the country in particular the local automotive sector.

One argument is that signing such an agreement would open the markets to countries with closed markets, hence putting Malaysia and local car companies at a disadvantage.

It is known that Japanese, South Korean, Chinese and European cars could benefit from the national status of Asean countries, merely by being assembled in those (Asean) countries with a minimum of 40% local content such as batteries, tyres and a few other components.

Read the full text here

AFG Meeting with Chaiyant Savanachai / Borgwarner

Thank you Doc Iain for the following report courtesy of Pattaya Mail:

At the end of June, the Automotive Focus Group (AFG) invited Dr. Chaiyant Savanachai from BorgWarner Thailand who spoke about their current and future activities in Thailand and ASEAN.

Dr. Chaiyant Savanachai is the General Manager, BorgWarner (Thailand) in control of Thailand operations, and reporting to HQ USA.

Dr. Chaiyant Savanachai from BorgWarner Thailand.

With a PhD in international Corporate Management, a Masters in International Economics and a Bachelor in Telecommunication Engineering Dr Chaiyant was an interesting speaker who was well qualified to address the AFG members.

He began with an introduction to global BorgWarner, and then the BorgWarner ASEAN Development & Growth, finishing with a discussion as to where Thailand is heading and the challenges to Thailand in the global marketplace.

He proudly pointed out that the Vision for BorgWarner was to be the global technology leader in powertrain solutions.  …

Benz Thonglor orders shift into overdrive this year

Bangkok Post: Benz Thonglor, a leading authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz cars, has taken overwhelming sales orders for delivery at the end of next year, a sign luxury auto demand remains strong despite waning consumption in the first quarter.

Wasun Bodhipimpanon, owner of Benz Thonglor, attributed the massive orders to new models but did not elaborate on the amount of orders.

"The rosy economic sentiment has encouraged people to place orders. However, I am worried they may not accept the cars when delivered if the economy turns bleak," he said.

Martin Schulz, vice-president for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), recently said at least six new models will be introduced this year, in addition to the 15 models already available.

Mr Wasun said the most popular models have a price tag between 2.5 and 4 million baht.

Each customer who places an order with Benz Thonglor is subject to a 50,000 baht per-car deposit.

Mercedes-Benz sales volume through authorised dealerships a…

SAIC Motor-CP Joint Venture Agrees to Lease Ready-Built Factories in Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate

SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd., an automotive industry joint venture founded by China-based automaker SAIC Motor Corporation and Thailand’s CP Group, has reached an agreement with Hemaraj Land And Development Plc. over the leasing of ready-built factories, representing a total area of 17,280 square meters, in Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate. SAIC Motor-CP is planning to develop a production facility that will initially be capable of building 50,000 vehicles annually under the SAIC-owned MG English brand for Thailand and international markets.

Shown in photo: Mr. David Nardone (5th from left) , President & CEO of Hemaraj Land And Development Plc. exchanges contract with Mr. Nopadol Chiaravanont, (5th from right) Director of SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd. while Mr. Wu Huan, (4th from right) President of SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd., Mr. Sawasdi Horrungruang (center), Director of Hemaraj Land And Development Plc., Mr. Vivat Jiratikarnsakul, (4th from left) Hemaraj’s Executive Vice President a…
With 40 players and 10 teams, the inaugural Automotive Focus Group (AFG) Golf Day at the Pattana golf course even surprised the organizers with the depth of support for this event.

Not only was the event oversubscribed with enthusiastic golfers, most of whom were AFG members, but also the sponsorship purse far exceeded expectations, with companies such as Hemaraj Land and Development even offering 10,000 baht for a hole in one.  The excellent level of sponsorship also meant that there was more money for the charity raffle.

Sponsors for the tournament includes CES (Kevin Fisher, shirts), Marriott (3D/2N JW Marriott), Hemaraj Land and Development (nearest pin and longest drive), Amari (brunches at Mantra), Cromwell Tools (power drill and golf bags), AB World Foods (“Curry for a Year”).

The best team score on the day came from the Triumph Motorcycles (Thailand) Ltd. quartet of Jamie Looker, Russ Daleman, David Mills and David Sutherland.

Runners-up were the team comprising Sean Goonan (AB Wo…

Tata postpones new Thailand factory

Tata has decided to postpone the development of the new facility in Thailand. Previously, Tata had announced it will enter the passenger car market in Thailand during the third quarter, when it will introduce the Nano budget vehicle.

Thai Automotive Sales Statistics April 2013

FT April Numbers are here: A total of 67,641 vehicles were exported in April, up 22.02% on April 2012, but down 34.16% on March.

Vehicle output in April stood at 170,438 units, up 17.40% on April 2012, but down 33.49% on March, due to fewer working days in the month.

Domestic car sales over the month totalled 109,658 units, an increase of 24.91% on April 2012, but a decline of 30.39% on March. Car sales over the first four months of the year stood at 522,914 units, up 42.44% on the same period last year.

FTI to revise export forecast

Bangkok Post:

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will this month review its full-year automotive export value target amid mounting pressure on car makers from the strong baht.

"The number of cars, 1.1 million vehicles to be exported this year, will remain unchanged, but export value in baht terms may need to be revised due to the continuing strength of the currency," said Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the FTI's automotive industry club.

He said car makers have largely secured their international purchase orders through the end of this year, but the strong baht has put production costs on an upward track.

Local pickup truck output sees 80-90% local content and passenger cars 60-70%.

Mr Surapong said hardest hit is the pickup truck segment, regarded as the country's automotive export champion.

Thailand's automotive industry enjoyed a bumper year in 2012, with 2.45 million vehicles made, up by 68.3% from 2011 and lifting Thailand to 10th place among car pr…

Toyota Yaris production to be moved to Indonesia...

A recent report revealed that Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has plans to build the next-gen Yaris hatchback later this year at the Toyota Karawang plant in West Java, Indonesia. The reason is quite simple; Toyota Thailand will build the new Eco-Car products, so the Yaris production base should be moved to Indonesia.

Read the article on THECARDRIVING here.

Asahi Tec chooses Laos ahead of Thailand

Via Bangkok Post: 

VIENTIANE : Higher labour costs and a labour shortage in Thailand have prompted Japanese auto parts maker Asahi Tec Corporation (ATC) to build its new overseas factory in Laos.

The 1.6-billion-baht plant in Savannakhet province will manufacture aluminium die casting parts.

"The labour shortage and high cost of expansion are the main problems for the expansion plan in Thailand, so Savannakhet is our new investment destination," said ATC director and chairman Shoichiro Irimajiri.

ATC's four factories in Thailand, which produce aluminium and iron casting parts, have already reached full capacity.

A new company, BMM Asahi Tec, has been formed through an equal joint venture with leading Lao company BMM Group, which is involved in property development and duty-free retailing.

The factory will be located in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone, which is expected to be a thriving hub of trade and services in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

BMM Asahi Tec plans to sell a…

Car makers may help to fund testing centre

via Bangkok Post

The government is considering collecting contributions from car makers to raise money to establish a centre for testing and research development.

Contributions of 500 to 1,000 baht for each vehicle sold are being considered, according to Phayungsak Chatsuthipol, a member of the state's Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development (SCRF).

Mr Phayungsak said SCRF chairman Virabongsa Ramangura has instructed the Thailand Automotive Institute to study the feasibility of gathering money from car firms to fund the centre's establishment.

The institute has sought financial support from SCRF for its plan to set up the centre at a cost of 8 billion baht.

Mitsubishi Thailand Capacity Increase


Mitsubishi Motors has announced a Bt1-billion investment aimed at raising its annual Thai auto production capacity to 510,000 units per annum by the end of this year.

The expansion is in line with the carmaker's goal of having exported an aggregate 3 million vehicles from Thailand within the next three to four years.

The company is also in the process of transferring some of its research and development (R&D) units from its Japanese headquarters to Thailand to serve the Asean Economic Community (AEC), which comes into effect in 2015. Osamu Masuko, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corp, said during his visit to Thailand this week that to celebrate the 2 millionth vehicle produced by the company in the Kingdom, it was investing Bt1 billion in increasing local production capacity to 510,000 units by the end of the year.

The current annual capacity is 460,000 vehicles. Thailand has been promoted by the parent company as one of Mitsubishi's significant global…

Suzuki Thailand Capacity Increase

Suzuki Thailand will increase capacity from 60,000 vehicles / year to 100,000 based on a sales forecast of 60,000 vehicles for 2013. So far Suzuki has sold 50,000 Swift in Thailand - a great success for the youngest car company in Thailand.

Thai-EU FTA deal within two years

Via Bangkok Post:

The Thai government delegation ended its visits to Sweden and Belgium with the announcement that the Thai-EU free trade agreement will be concluded in less than two years, as part of Thailand's commitment towards free trade and competitiveness enhancement.

Olarn Chaipravat, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and chief of the Thailand Trade Representative, will head the Thai negotiating team. Aside from Singapore, which is the first Asean country to reach an agreement with the European Union, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are set to start negotiations soon.

The Thai Cabinet on December 4 gave the go-ahead for FTA negotiations, despite public opposition amid fears that alcohol and pharmaceuticals would be included in the deal.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said here that to ensure public support, the government had promised not to put economic returns above the expense of human health.


Indonesia on the road to overtaking Thailand

Attention grabbing headline and interesting story from via The Australian:

THIS year Indonesia could pass Thailand to become the largest vehicle market, by unit sales, in Southeast Asia.

That's no small thing, given Thailand has edged into the world's top 10 vehicle producers and Indonesian output, at the growth rate of the past five years, will get there by 2020.

The potential of this market for Australian components makers was acknowledged, belatedly, when the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers sent its first delegation to Jakarta in November.

Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet has recently appointed former Ford Indonesia president Will Angove to the new position of automotive supplier advocate with a brief to help auto components suppliers "compete in new markets".

Less innovatively, Mr Combet's headline task for Mr Angove is getting local fleet managers to buy more local vehicles. His focus should be assisting Australian suppliers to escape …
The planned expansion of the 110-kilometre road motorway linking Thailand to the proposed Dawei deep-sea port project in Myanmar has been postponed.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTTPP) said expanding the motorway from four lanes to eight on the Thai side of the border is unnecessary for the time being.

General Motors Indonesia's new Spin

General Motors Indonesia has completed its US$150m refurbishment of its car plant in Bekasi, a satellite city east of the country’s capital Jakarta.

The plant, with a 550-strong workforce, is set to begin commercial production of the Spin seven-seater compact MPV for sale locally and for export to other markets in the ASEAN region. A further 250 workers will be added by year-end.

The Spin is based on the similarly-named model produced by GM in Brazil but will get a smaller 1.5-litre engine instead of the 1.8 engine fitted to the Brazilian model. It will also have locally-made components, including some trim parts.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 40,000 vehicles a year once a second shift is introduced. The company expects sales to increase significantly in Indonesia with the new model from last year’s 5,643 units.

Thai Car Exports up in January

Bangkok Post reports:

A total of 86,697 vehicles were exported in January, up 61.78% on January 2012, and an increase of 0.46% on December 2012, Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the Automotive Industry Club, said on Thursday.

The export value for the month stood at 39.48 billion baht, up 58.86% on January 2012, said Mr Surapong.

Domestic car sales over the month totalled 125,817 units, an increase of 63.36% on January 2012, but down 13.04% on December 2012.

Car output in January stood at 236,025 units, up 67.95% on January 2012, and an increase of 6.63% on December 2012.

Mr Surapong projected car output from February to April would stand at 664,756 units, down 6.89% on the 713,959 units actual output from November 2012 to January 2013, but up 31.89% on 504,006 units actual output from February-April 2012.

Vehicle output for 2013 is projected at 2.55 million units, up 3.92% year-on-year, he said.

Of this total, 1.1 million vehicles, or 43.14%, would be for export and the remainder 1.4…

Chevrolet Thailand Sales January 2013

Chevrolet sells 6,039 vehicles in Thailand in January 2013, 59% more compared to the same month in 2012.

Honda Thailand to build new plant in Prachinburi

Via Bangkok Post:

Honda Automobile (Thailand) will invest more than 20 billion baht to build a new assembly plant and expand its existing facility to tap strong domestic demand and exports.

About 17.2 billion baht will be used to build the assembly and engine plant in Prachin Buri province.

The factory, to be located in Rojana Industrial Park, will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 cars. Construction will start in July, with operations due to launch in 2015.

Company president Hiroshi Kobayashi said the factory will produce mainly small and subcompact vehicles in response to growing global demand.

"Honda plans to make the new assembly plant the company's most advanced manufacturing facility in Asia and Oceania," he said.

"It will follow the advanced manufacturing innovations now being introduced at Honda's new Yorii assembly plant in Japan. They include shorter and greener production processes for welding, painting and assembling automobiles that offer the …

Office cost in Asia

Bangkok is the lowest cost option for setting up offices in Asia Pacific…

Nissan reaches 2-million-vehicle milestone

Via Bangkok Post:

Japanese auto-maker Nissan recently celebrated cumulative production of 2 million vehicles in Thailand at its plant in Samut Prakarn.

The new milestone was achieved in January.

"Thanks to the growing demand from satisfied customers, Nissan Motor Thailand has reached a new milestone," said NMT president Takayuki Kimura. "Business in Thailand has been growing at a steady yet astonishing pace - especially last year - making it the best year for the automotive industry. Nissan is one of the key brands contributing to this success. In reaching this milestone it truly shows the great results we have achieved.

"Making a further commitment to Thailand, Nissan announced last year that it's investing Bt11 billion more for our second plant on Bang Na Trad Road, Km 22, Samut Prakarn. It will initially produce 75,000 vehicles per year starting in August 2014, and this number will increase to 150,000 per year after full production is achieved," he said.


Challenges ahead for AAF's Thai chief

Via Bangkok Post:

Nissan Motor Thailand vice president for government relations Piengjai Kaewsuwan was unanimously elected new chairperson of the Asean Automotive Federation (AAF) for 2013-2014 at the AAF annual meeting on January 11 in Bangkok.

This is great news for Thailand, especially with the coming of the Asean Economic Community (AEC). It is expected that Thailand's strengths in the automotive industry will enable it to strengthen its leadership in Southeast Asia.

Last year, Thailand produced more than 2 million vehicles, with domestic sales reaching a record 1.4 million, thanks to the government's First Car Buyer Programme.

Apart from her position at Nissan, Piengjai is also president of the Thai Automobile Industry Association (TAIA). She had recently been elected president of the TAIA for a second term.

Mazda will set up a new Powertrain Manufacturing facility in Thailand

Mazda will set up a new Powertrain Manufacturing facility in Thailand to produce and sell SkyActiv transmissions for Mazda vehicles with a capacity of 400,000 units/year. SOP will be second half of 2015.

Exports gearing up for 25% increase to $15bn this year

Via Bangkok Post

Auto parts shipments are expected to grow by at least 25% this year in line with the flourishing automotive industry.

The Thai Autoparts Manufacturers Association (Tapma) expects exports will total US$15 billion this year, up from $11-12 billion last year. "Prospects remain promising on the back of surging automobile and motorcycle production," said president Achana Limpaitoon.

Thailand's automotive industry enjoyed a bumper year in 2012, with vehicle production totalling 2.45 million units, up by 68.3% from 2011 and lifting Thailand to 10th place among global automobile producers.

Motorcycle production reached 3.14 million units, up by 6.57%.

The Federation of Thai Industries' automotive industry club said domestic automobile sales totalled 1.43 million vehicles last year, up by 80.9% from 2011, while motorcycle sales rose by 6.11% to 2.13 million.

This year, 2.5 million automobiles will be produced, up by 2%, with 1.4 million slated for domestic sales an…

Honda retains No 1 position in Dec car sales

Via Bangkok Post:

Japanese auto-maker Honda announced that it sold 20,463 passenger cars in December last year, achieving the No 1 sales position in the Thai car market for three consecutive months - from October to December 2012.
Honda's accumulated sales from January through December 2012 reached 171,208 vehicles, up 104 per cent over its 2011 sales figures. This is the highest sales in the company's history here - compared to the previous annual sales record of 114,056 vehicles achieved in 2010 - despite the fact that Honda managed full production for only nine months of 2012.

During the nine months after officially resuming full production at its Ayutthaya manufacturing plant (April to December), Honda reached a sales high of 168,473 vehicles. Sales grew at 213 per cent, or triple the sales figure in the same period in 2011 (53,871 vehicles) and twice the total overall market growth of 106 per cent. Honda enjoyed a market share of 30 per cent in the car segment during the sam…

New Toyota plant to open this year

Via Bangkok Post:

Toyota, Thailand's biggest car maker, plans to invest 12 billion baht in a new factory at Gateway 2 in Chachoengsao, touting a new eco-car as the first model.

Domestic demand for new cars will moderate as the government’s first-time buyer scheme ends, according to Mr Tanada. SOMCHAI POOMLARD

The plant will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2013 and have an annual capacity of 300,000 units a year, said Kyoichi Tanada, president of Toyota Motor Thailand.

The new factory is an expansion of Toyota's existing plant at Gateway.

According to Mr Tanada, Toyota's first facility in Thailand at Samrong in Samut Prakan recently kicked off assembly of the Hiace Commuter High-Roof van, after a capital investment of 1.5 billion baht.

The output handled by Toyota Auto Works Co, formerly known as Thai Auto Works, will substitute imports. With 300 employees and one shift a day initially, production capacity will be increased by two shifts to 18,000 annually by midyear…

Thailand's 2013 auto sales may fall 16%...

RIDE ASIAONE translates a press release...

BANGKOK - Thai automotive industry sales look set to drop 16 per cent in 2013, retreating from a record 2012 boosted by government subsidies, Toyota Motor Corp's Thai unit said on Monday.

The group said it expected sales to decline to 1.2 million vehicles this year, after an 80 per cent surge in 2012 fuelled by government subsidies for buyers of first cars.

Industry sales had jumped to a record 1.43 million vehicles in 2012, also boosted by pent-up demand after severe flooding in late 2011, Kyoichi Tanada, president of the Toyota Motor Thai unit, told a news conference.

"Thai auto sales this year will not fall much from last year. We think the economy will still be good, but there is no first-car scheme this year," he said.

For Toyota itself, 2013 sales are set to fall 3.1 per cent to 500,000 units, giving it a 40 per cent market share, with sales of passenger cars down 11 per cent. It aims for exports of 412,000 vehicles worth 168 b…

Toyota Thailand capacity increases to more than 1 Million units per year

Toyota Thailand will invest 12 billion baht in a new factory at Gateway 2 in Chachoengsao, with a new eco-car as the first model.

According to Kyoichi Tanada, president of Toyota Thailand, the plant will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2013 and have an annual capacity of 300,000 units which will bring Toyota Thailand's total capacity to over one million vehicles per year!

Bridgestone sets up R&D Centre in Bangkok

Bridgestone, yesterday announced plans to establish a new technical centre in Thailand costing 1.24 billion baht.

Located in the Bangkok suburbs, business operations are scheduled to begin in July.

The new centre is estimated to employ 100 staff by 2015.

It will carry out the functions of tyre development, tyre production technology and quality management for Asia-Pacific, previously handled in Japan.

With this shift, Bridgestone intends to establish a framework for research and development that will be able to reflect timely information from markets.

As markets in Asia continue to grow and diversify rapidly, Bridgestone believes strengthening its technical support will enable it to respond to customers' needs more quickly by raising its levels of safety, environmental awareness, quality and delivery capabilities.

Via Bangkok Post
Chevrolet, part of US-based General Motors (GM), ended 2012 with record-breaking sales growth of 139% over 2011, thanks to the government's first-time car buyer scheme and strong post-flood demand.

The first-time car buyer scheme and strong post-flood demand carried Chevrolet to 139% sales growth in 2012, says Mr Apfel.

Some 75,461 Chevrolet cars were sold last year, higher than the combined 66,733 units sold from 2009 through 2011.

"2012 was a very good year for us as we launched three new models, expanded our dealership and surpassed our sales from 2009 to 2011," said Martin Apfel, president of GM's Southeast Asia operations.

The industry expanded 80% in 2012 to sell 1.4 million vehicles, of which Chevrolet gained a market share of 5.3%, up by 1.3% the year before. Mr Apfel cited the first-time car buyer scheme for helping to increase vehicle sales, while demand carried over from 2011.

Industry growth for 2013 is expected to be lower at 1.2 million units to be sold. Che…

2013 new cars

Take a look at up-coming cars of 2013: from below 1 million-baht to above 10-million-baht ranges.

Check out the full range at Bangkok Post

Mazda wants to sell 80,000 units in 2013

The Thai unit of Japan's Mazda Motor expects to lift sales by another 10% this year after posting record sales of 73,764 units in 2012, helped by the government's first-time car buyer scheme.

New models and limited editions will be launched each quarter, says Mr Yuki.

Choichi Yuki, managing director of Mazda Sales (Thailand), said the company is aiming for total sales of 80,000 units this year.

"The company saw an excellent performance in 2012, increasing 76% from 41,980 units the year before. The Thai automobile market, meanwhile, was able to achieve record sales of almost 1.42 million units, equivalent to a growth of 79%," he said.

"The growth does not stop there. This will be a year of intense competition and auto sales are expected to exceed the 1-million-unit mark for the second time with a total of 1.2-1.3 million units."

The 2013 company sales target will be made up of 60% passenger cars and 40% pick-up trucks, which is a highly challenging market for all…

INDONESIA: Vehicle sales rise 25% in 2012

New vehicle sales in Indonesia increased by 11.4% to 89,456 units in December, from 80,325 units a year earlier, according to data released by local industry association Gaikindo.

Full year sales rose by almost 25% to a new record of 1,116,230 units, from 894,164 units in 2011, with increased borrowing and strong domestic economic growth driving sales ever higher.

Interest rates are at record lows at present, with the Bank Indonesia overnight lending rate at 5.75% and with commercial banks offering further discounted rates.

Via JustAuto

Malaysia: Toyota set to overtake Proton

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — At its peak, four of every five cars sold in Malaysia was a Proton, but the carmaker is now in danger of slipping into third spot in sales behind Toyota and Perodua, the second national car company that has ruled the roost for over six years.
Industry sources told The Edge newspaper in an article published today that Proton saw its market share slip in December 2012 to just 17.7 per cent, with Toyota now a close third at 17.1 per cent share of passenger vehicle sales in the country.

“Perodua (Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd) is the runway market leader while Proton over the last few years has been a strong second. Now Toyota is closing in on Proton’s position,” an unnamed executive told the financial daily.

Proton is controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s DRB-Hicom.

Industry executives told the financial daily that Proton’s sales fell by over 11 per cent to 140,000 units from 158,000 units a year earlier, missing the company’s target of 200,000 units by a…

Honda, 10 other companies get post-flood financial support

Via the NATION:

Honda Automobile (Thailand) is one of 11 companies that have won financial support from the government's post-flood investment rehabilitation fund.

Honda, which shut down its manufacturing plant in Ayutthaya for six months, won Bt2.5 billion in support for its engine-manufacturing project with capacity of 440,000 units a year. At the site, Honda churns out 240,000 vehicles per annum.

According to Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk, the sub-committee tasked with rehabilitation investment has approved 32 flood-rehabilitation projects in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani worth Bt27.96 billion. It has also approved financial support to seven new investment projects worth Bt3.5 billion.

The financial support has covered only one relocation of a manufacturing plant: that of TAC Consumer, which is investing Bt6.85 million to produce 2,250 tonnes of feed meal per annum.

The other beneficiaries are: Imasen Manufacturing (Thailand), which will maintain its factory in Ayutthaya to man…

THE NATION: Optimistic carmakers look to exports for another good year

The outlook for the Thai auto industry in 2013 remains bright, partially propelled by the demand from export markets.

Last year the industry attracted more than Bt100 billion in terms of additional investment from auto and auto-parts makers. Sales surged by 70 per cent to achieve a record 1.4 million vehicles, thanks to demand carried over from flood-stricken 2011 and the first-car-buyer programme. More than a million people received excise tax rebates a year after making their purchase.

This year's auto production is targeted at 2.5 million units, said Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)'s Automotive Industry Club (AIC), with about 1.3-1.4 million for the domestic market.

"The reason sales will remain at the same level as 2012 is because there is a large amount of back orders carried over from 2012 - as many as 500,000 vehicles covering the third quarter of 2013. However, we also predict that as much as 30 per cent of the orders fr…