Friday, April 29, 2011

THE STAR: Chery getting savvy


INTERESTING WRITE-UP ABOUT THE DOMESTIC CAR MAKER CHERY.

CHERY cars may not be as popular as those from Asian rivals like Toyota, Honda, Kia and Hyundai, but the Chinese carmaker is surely making strides in the right direction.

Since embarking on its global expansion in 2003, Chery Auto Group, based in Wuhu in Anhui province, has exported 500,000 vehicles to more than 80 countries and regions.

BERNAMA: Malaysia May Benefit From Japanese Automotive's Tectonic Shift

Malaysia may be a beneficiary if Japanese automotive players decide to shift production hubs to more "tectonically" stable regions after the March 2011 tragedy, MIDF Research said Friday. "The scale of the earthquake ...

Good times roll for auto suppliers


Major auto suppliers blew past profit expectations on Friday, suggesting the recovery in the global auto market remains strong despite rising oil prices and the disaster in Japan.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT.N), powertrain maker American Axle and Manufacturing Holding Inc (AXL.N) and Lear Corp (LEA.N), which makes seating and electrical power management systems, posted first-quarter earnings that easily exceeded Wall Street estimates on improving global demand.

PATTAYA MAIL: Disaster in Japan slows car production in Thailand


Japanese car makers plan to cut their production in Thailand to 50 percent due to the shortage of imported parts caused by the devastation in Japan, according to the Ministry of Industry.

After a meeting to assess impacts from the natural disaster in Japan on the Thai automotive industry, Permanent Secretary for Industry Withoon Simachokedee stated that all Japanese automakers, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Isuzu, would reduce their outputs from their bases in Thailand by 50 percent from now until June.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NY TIMES: A Japanese Plant Struggles to Produce a Critical Auto Part

A chain is just as strong as it's weakest link….
A modern car is a computer on wheels. The window openers, the dashboard navigation maps, the fuel injectors — these and many other operations are controlled by some of the 100 or so electronic systems in a typical car.

No wonder the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that knocked out one of the world’s leading automotive computer-chip factories struck such a severe and lasting blow to the global auto industry.

THAI VEST: Thai auto output to be cut by 150,000 units


Thailand’s vehicle output from April through June could be slashed by as many as 150,000 units, leading to a Bt75billion loss in revenue, as all carmakers have to run at half capacity because of the disruption in the supply of parts from Japan.
Wallop Tiasiri, director of the Thai Automotive Institute, said the revenue loss was based on the average carprice estimate of Bt500,000 a unit, and this would be shared by carmakers and local parts suppliers.

THE NATION: Somboon slahes production over crisis in Japan

Somboon Advance Technology (SAT), a leading local automotive-parts manufacturer, said yesterday that it had reduced production by 35 per cent as Japanese carmakers had cut their orders significantly. The tsunami in Japan last month has had a severe impact on carmakers because of a major shortage of components.

BANGKOK POST: Automakers warn of slow delivery

Slowdown in Toyota car output up to 70% coming….

Major carmakers continue receiving orders from customers although they are facing production trouble caused by tight supply of electronic parts from Japan.

Car output in Thailand will drop by 50% on average until June as stocks of major parts of carmakers are going to run out soon.

The reduced output is expected to force some manufacturers to deny accepting orders or delay car deliveries until normal production resumes.Industry sources said Toyota Motor Thailand was still accepting orders even though its car output would be cut by 70% until early June.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Malaysia Keen To Work With Japan To Increase Component Production


SHAH ALAM, April 25 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is keen to work with Japan to explore opportunities to increase automotive component production as well as other industries involving Japanese companies in Malaysia.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia welcomed any move by Japanese companies to decentralise their production into Malaysia.

"We will be engaging with our friends from Japan to see what possibilities there are to further increase the production of components in Malaysia, not just for the automotive industry, but also other industries as well.

"Malaysia would like to move up the value chain. We would like to make sure Malaysia produces more components for this country (Japan)," he told reporters after officiating Assembly Services Sdn Bhd's one millionth production line ceremony here Monday.


Friday, April 22, 2011

THE STAR: Proton wants to be more cost competitive

SHAH ALAM: National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd is aiming to achieve significant improvement in the cost competitiveness of its cars in the next five years, in view of impending liberalisation in the Malaysian automotive industry.

BANGKOK POST: Local auto output slashed


The local automotive industry is beginning to feel the pinch from last month's Japanese earthquake and tsunami, with carmakers cutting production to fit their remaining stock of parts.

Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT), the country's largest carmaker, will cut production by 70% from Monday until June 4 following the suspension of overtime shifts since last month.

THE NATION: Thai auto output to be cut by 150,000 units

Bad news! Thai Automakers will be shifting to half capacity...

Wallop Tiasiri, director of the Thai Automotive Institute, said the revenue loss was based on the average carprice estimate of Bt500,000 a unit, and this would be shared by carmakers and local parts suppliers.

Leading automakers yesterday met with Industry Ministry permanent secretary Witoon Simachokedee to review the latest situation following the supply shortage from Japan. The automakers were Toyota, Honda, Isuzu, Nissan, General Motors, Hino, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki.

Thailand's vehicle output from April through June could be slashed by as many as 150,000 units, leading to a Bt75billion loss in revenue, as all carmakers have to run at half capacity because of the disruption in the supply of parts from Japan.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thai car output rises 13.8% in March

MARKETWATCH: Thailand's vehicle production and exports continued to rise in March on the back of continuing economic growth, the Federation of Thai Industries said Wednesday.

Vehicle production rose 13.8% from a year earlier to 172,004 units in March, buoyed by the introduction of new car models, higher purchasing power among farmers due to stronger agricultural prices, and rising export demand, it said.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bangkok Motor Show: "Kingdom of the Pickups" - the offroad fair in Thailand.

Bangkok International Motor Show is the only OICA (Organisation International des Constructeur’s d’Automobiles) approved motor show in South East Asia. This year’s show was the biggest ever event, the presence of 79 car and 119 accessories companies boasted 1.8 million visitors during the twelve days.

ASEAN News: Bosch opens 43-million-dollar car parts factory in Vietnam


1.6 Million CVT Pushbelts made in Vietnam…

Hanoi - Germany's Bosch Group has opened a 43-million-dollar auto component factory in southern Vietnam, local media reported Friday.
The plant, which opened Thursday in Dong Nai Province, specializes in manufacturing spare parts for continuously variable transmission (CVT), Viet Nam News reported.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thailand's LPG, CNG and gasoil demand soars, led by subsidies


Thailand's consumption of LPG, CNG and gasoil are soaring led by the politically-motivated subsidy scheme which insulates consumers from rising prices, encouraging usage.

Demand for CNG, commonly known as natural gas for vehicles or NGV in Thailand and used as an alternative automotive fuel, surged in January by 34.5% over the same period last year to 207,000 Mcf/d, mirroring the continuation of the trend from the whole of 2010 when consumption jumped 26.8% to 181,000 Mcf/d.

Emissions may dictate fuel levies


The Excise Department is considering an overhaul of tax rates for petroleum based on carbon dioxide emissions.

Tax rates for petroleum products are currently set based on product type, with petrol charged a tax of seven baht per litre, gasohol 6.30 baht and diesel 5.31 baht per litre. Taxes are collected directly from refineries.

But a Finance Ministry official said the tax structure could be changed to be based on carbon emissions, similar to a proposed new tax structure for automobiles.

Japanese car assemblers in Thailand meet to discuss production

Production might half due to Japanese chip import problems... 

Japanese car assemblers in Thailand will meet here next week to discuss car automobile industry production which is being heavily impacted from the massive tsunami which hit Japan just over a month ago, a senior industry player said Thursday.
Vallop Tiasiri, president of the Thailand Automotive Institute, said Japanese car assemblers will meet on April 22 at the industry ministry following an invitation from Permanent Secretary for Industry Vitoon Simachokdee. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

PLASTIC NEWS: Auto suppliers worry about domino effect


North American suppliers -- even those that appear to have little exposure to Japan’s automakers or suppliers -- are poring over contingency plans and preparing to take a hit.

A survey by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association of its members conducted March 21-31 and released last week found that almost half of the North American respondents already have had production schedules reduced as a result of the earthquake. Two-thirds of those who haven’t seen schedules cut yet said they expect to see output reductions over the next month and a half.

BANGKOK POST: Nissan eyes another eco-car in Thailand


The addition of the new model would take production of eco-cars at the NISSAN Thai plant to about 100,000 units

Nissan Motor, Japan's second-largest automaker, wants to produce its latest eco-car in Thailand after its initial eco-car, the Nissan March.

Once the new model's production starts, Nissan's output of eco-cars here will top 100,000 units this year, with an aim to export the new model back home, said an executive at Nissan's Thai unit.

Finally, some good news for BYD

Last October I wrote about a situation in which BYD, the private automaker from Shenzhen, was punished for attempting to build a factory on farmland near Xi'an.

In short, BYD was fined about $435K and had seven buildings, on which it had already begun construction, confiscated and ordered destroyed. In addition 14 local officials in Shaanxi province were also punished for violating rules forbidding the use of arable land for non-farming purposes. Ouch. And this came in a tough year for BYD whose sales only grew 16 percent in 2010 (compared to China's auto industry as a whole which enjoyed 32 percent growth).

The story surfaced a few days ago that BYD was preparing to restart construction in Xi'an. According to an earlier story in the Economic Observer, the land has been "legalized" (合法化) and rezoned as industrial land. BYD was allowed to bid for the land in a public auction, and -- surprise! -- BYD won the auction. (There was no word on whether anyone else bid for the land.)

Even though BYD didn't get all of the land it had secured before, it still got most of the land, and, most conveniently, it got the part of the land on which its unfinished construction already stood. Back in October, the announcement from the Ministry of Land and Resources said BYD's buildings would have to be destroyed, but, fortunately for BYD, no one had got around to destroying them yet.

This strikes me as quite a miraculous turnabout for BYD. The problem that led to BYD's punishment was (and is) that China, despite being a huge country, has precious little of the arable land it needs to feed 1.3 billion people. The central government has recently become quite serious about preserving arable land.

But not that serious apparently.

In the months following BYD's punishment last October, Local officials in Xi'an had begun to complain that they had been deprived of a major source of local income -- sales of land use rights. The Economic Observer quoted a local official as saying that Shaanxi's annual demand for industrial land is running at about 400,000 mu (67,000 acres) per year, but they are only able to supply about 150,000 mu.

I was initially happy to see the central government finally taking a stand last fall by supporting their own laws forbidding illegal use of arable land. For once, it wasn't just about the money. At the time, I took this as a positive sign that rule-of-law was actually starting to mean something in China.

It's amazing to me how a scarce resource such as arable land could have been so quickly and easily "rezoned" as industrial. Apparently it really was about the money.

Global Automotive Component Outsourcing Market to Reach $1.09 Trillion by 2017


Good news – I think Thailand needs to get into full bore "business development" mode.


GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on automotive component outsourcing market. Although the prolonged severity of the economic slowdown and depressed automotive industry have elicited decline in revenue for automotive component outsourcing in the recent years, the market nevertheless is expected to recover poise in the short to medium term period to reach $1.09 trillion by 2017. Growth in the market will be especially driven by increase in automobile production as a result of post recession resurgence in consumer demand for new cars and scheduled development and roll out of new feature-rich vehicle models. Robust growth prospects in Asia-pacific also augur well for the market.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tata eyes tie-up with Proton


MUMBAI - Indian automotive giant Tata has expressed interest to work with Proton, including selling its world-cheapest Tata Nano in Malaysia.

This was conveyed to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin by Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata during a meeting here yesterday.

FORBES: Emerging Markets Momentum Drives Ford Above $20

FORBES bullish on FORD based on growth chances in China and Asia Pacific.

Ford Motor Co. recently reported its highest net income in more than 10 years. We currently estimate that Ford’s international operations contribute 35% to its stock price, similar to its North American operations that contribute 35.6%, including both cars and trucks.

Competing on price or value: Which offers the best opportunity for profit?


Recommended reading about "price defending techniques".

Many processors and mold manufacturers get caught in the low-price trap and are forced into defending their price without data to back up why their price is the best value for the money.

While emulating Wal-Mart in some operational aspects might be a good thing, processors and mold manufacturers often get caught in the low-price trap that is probably only good in the retail setting. News flash: There are no Blue Light specials in processing or mold manufacturing.

WSJ: Japan's Big 3 Auto Makers to Resume Output


Japan's car industry is rebooting.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. said Friday that they will resume production at all factories in Japan later this month, joining Honda Motor Co. in moves to restart production halted by the March 11 earthquake.

Japan's Big Three auto makers said their domestic output will begin only at half of normal volumes. Toyota also indicated its restart will last just 10 days before a holiday shutdown. Its resumption after the holiday will depend on parts availability.

Friday, April 8, 2011

WEEKEND CANDY: GERMANY'S ZF Friedrichshafen AG is "Best Brand" in the "Transmissions" category

Germans like ZF best (ZF = ZAHNRADFABRIK = Gear Factory). Check out the video of their new 8-speed here… 

In 2011, ZF Friedrichshafen AG is "Best Brand" in the "Transmissions" category. This is the result of the readers' choice from the "auto motor und sport" trade magazine on products and services focusing on the automobile. With powerful 80 percent agreement and for the sixth time in a row, readers voted for ZF to be top ranking. An impressive second place was achieved by the Sachs brand, supplier company, in the "Chassis" product category.


Engineering at it's best: the ZF 8 Speed Transmission

PRESS RELEASE: Tata Motors to construct heavy truck plant in Myanmar


First ever AFG post involving Myanmar….

Tata Motors today signed a turnkey contract with Myanmar Automobile & Diesel Industries Limited (MADI), an enterprise under the Government of Myanmar’s Ministry of Industry-2, for setting up a heavy truck plant, at Magwe, approximately 480 km from Yangon, funded by a Line of Credit from the Government of India.

The facilities planned at the plant include a highly flexible chassis & frame assembly line along with a cab manufacturing, painting & trimming set-up. The plant is expected to become operational by the last quarter of 2010-11, with a capacity of 1,000 vehicles per year. The capacity can be expanded to 5,000 units.

SIFY FINANCE: Malaysian car production may face Japan hitch


Malaysia's Auto Industry also has great potential….

Malaysia's auto sales are on track to grow 2 percent to a record 618,000 vehicles this year, although production could be disrupted in coming months by parts shortages following Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Sales last year in Southeast Asia's largest passenger car market rose 12.7 percent to 605,156 vehicles. For the first two months of this year, sales were up 4 percent, Malaysian Automotive Association president Aishah Ahmad said Friday.

2012 Chevrolet Colorado: A new design direction for GM small trucks

World premiere of new Chevrolet Colorado at the Bangkok International Auto Show.

General Motors (the parent company for Chevrolet) has recently taken up this trend of making production models look like the concept vehicles -cue the recent Cadillac CTS Coupe- and it does seem to be a styling direction that works. Traditionally auto manufactures show off beautiful concepts to the public then release a production models that look nothing like it. There are a lot of reasons why this happens, but the end result is always the same: a production car that is a disappointment to those of us who were excited about the concept.

The new Chevrolet Colorado

Tata revs up commercial focus


TATA is getting ready to gear up….

Tata plans a deeper penetration of the Thai commercial vehicle market with a new pickup model geared towards special needs, introduction of heavy-duty vehicles and local assembly of mini trucks.

In cooperation with Thanachart Bank, the India-based manufacturer will also offer leasing and credit line facilities for the convenience of customers and dealers alike.

Ajit Venkataraman, the chief executive of Tata Motors (Thailand), said his company's products have received steady recognition since entering the local market two and a half years ago.

PHILSTAR: Thailand flexes its automotive muscle

More "Detroit of the East" discussion...

MANILA, Philippines - Underscoring its unofficial tag as the “Detroit of Southeast Asia,” Thailand last month threw open the doors to the 32nd edition of its annual Bangkok International Motor Show in what was expected to be the biggest show yet with over 2 million visitors expected to walk the red carpet of the sprawling world-class Impact Muang Thong Thani convention center.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chevy Celebrates Anniversary with Corvette Continental Edition


Black Beauty…..

General Motors, to celebrate its Chevrolet’s one hundredth anniversary, has released a special edition package for its Corvette supercar.
 
The Centennial Edition treatment, known as ZLC in GM’s order books, begins by slathering each Corvette in exclusive satin-look Carbon Flash Metallic paint. The cars wear bespoke Centennial Satin Black wheels with red-painted rims, and red-painted brake calipers. The Corvette’s traditional crossed-flags badge includes the number “100,” and a logo of founder Louis Chevrolet is affixed to the wheel center caps, steering wheel, and B-pillars.


GM hosts Thai-Korea auto-parts event


Did anybody from AFG attend this event….I just learned about it after it happened….I am sure it would have been interesting for AFG to organize a visit.

General Motors has adopted a role as a promoter of bilateral trade between Thai and Korean automotive parts manufacturers.

In association with the Thailand office of the Korean Trade and Investment Promotion Agency and the Korean Business Centre in Bangkok, the auto-maker recently organised the GM Thai Korea Autoparts Plaza 2011.

CHINAPOST: World Bank raises Thailand's GDP growth forecast to 3.7%


Everybody's forecasting something different….

The Nation (Thailand)/Asia News Network -- The World Bank is optimistic about Thailand's economic growth this year but warns that risks remain considerable.

The bank has revised upwards its growth forecast for gross domestic production this year to 3.7 percent from 3.2 percent previously, according to a report it released on April 5.

ADB revises down Thai GDP forecast


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expects Thailand to record the lowest growth among the six major Southeast Asian economies this year.

It has revised down its economic growth forecast to 4.1% from 4.5% compared with average growth of 5.5% for all six economies – Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

AUTOSPIES: Japanese Automakers Want Approval To Shift Parts Production To Thailand

For a long time Thailand has been the primary overseas low low manufacturing base for Japan – now it seems like there's significant growth ahead:

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Board of Investment to speed up approval of urgent production shifts to Thailand as manufacturing at home was damaged by last month's earthquake and tsunami.

Vice-president Fukujiro Yamabe said automotive, electronics and electrical appliances were the worst hit and manufacturers needed to switch some production from Japan to Thailand.

Monday, April 4, 2011

CBS Detroit: Japan Quake Could Change Way Car Companies Deal With Suppliers


Some good reading about new manufacturing and sourcing strategies for carmakers balancing COST and RISK of the supply chain:

The earthquake in Japan has many of the world’s automakers re-thinking their strategy of stretching out their supply base around the world.
“I think there’s going to be is going to a total re-evaluation of the supply chain,” says Jim Gillette, who tracks supplier companies for IHS Automotive. “I think the direction that some of these companies have been going is going to change if not dramatically, at least slightly.”

MOTOR TREND: Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Parts Supplies


The world's automakers are cautious and vague about the effects of the tragic March 11 Japanese earthquake and tsunami on vital automotive parts and components, with one surprising exception. General Motors began preparing for a potential shortage by late March. It severely limited discretionary spending and suspended "unnecessary" corporate travel at the company to "hoard" money so it could pay alternative parts sources, if necessary, by mid-May.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2011/1106_japan_earthquake_tsunami_hit_parts_supplies/index.html#ixzz1IcC4m4AK


EVENT INFO: Bangkok Motor Show

Today, Tuesday, 5th of April is your last chance to visit the International Motorshow in Bangkok and get up to speed with the latest models for the Thai market….or check out their FACEBOOK PAGE to get a glimpse.

A very good read: Doc Iain Corness' Mutterings from the International Motor Show in his Automania Blog on Pattaya Mail.

A top model!

BANGKOK POST: Auto industry insists Thai jobs safe after Japan crisis

Employers in the automobile industry say they will not lay off workers and are trying to ensure they survive the repercussions from the situation in Japan.

Yongyuth Mentaphao, president of the Federation of Automotive Labour Unions, said the disaster has affected the auto industry in Thailand, a major base for car parts production, as certain parts have to be imported from Japan.

BANGKOK POST: Nippon Steel to invest US$300m


Nippon Steel Corp, Japan's largest steelmaker, will invest US$300 million (9.07 billion baht) to build a plant in Thailand to produce high-grade steel for the automobile and electrical appliance industries.

The plant will be located next to the Siam United Steel (SUS) plant in Rayong in which Nippon Steel is a major shareholder. With annual production capacity of 360,000 million tonnes of galvanised steel, the facility plans to be operational in 2013.

COMPANY NEWS: GKN Driveline Japan to merge with GKN Driveline Asia Pacific


GKN PRESS RELEASE: GKN Driveline Japan will merge into the GKN Driveline Asia Pacific organisation on 1st April 2011. It will be led by Marc Vuarchex, managing director, GKN Driveline Asia Pacific.
Marc Vuarchex is also appointed president and representative director, GKN Driveline Japan Ltd. (head office at 1150 Daikoji-machi, Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan).

ELECTRIC CARS: Tesla, other electric vehicles poised to enter the mainstream

MERCURY NEWS, SAN JOSE: After decades of sputtering starts and stalled hopes, the electric vehicle is poised to enter the mainstream.
Tesla Roadsters, Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts are already on the market, and every major automaker has at least one electric model in the pipeline, giving consumers an array of choices in the coming years. The new wave of EVs just beginning to hit American highways is not the first -- they were popular a century ago until cheaper, gasoline-powered cars gained dominance after World War I. But experts say the stars now appear to be aligned for an alternative to the internal combustion engine.
A Nissan Leaf electric vehicle is on display at Santana Row in San Jose

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Auto industry insists Thai jobs safe after Japan crisis


Employers in the automobile industry say they will not lay off workers and are trying to ensure they survive the repercussions from the situation in Japan.

Yongyuth Mentaphao, president of the Federation of Automotive Labour Unions, said the disaster has affected the auto industry in Thailand, a major base for car parts production, as certain parts have to be imported from Japan.

Plants in Japan could not produce car parts because of limitations imposed on electricity usage in Japan after last month's earthquake and tsunami and the continuing nuclear crisis.

This has affected the assembly line and workers in the car industry in Thailand, Mr Yongyuth said. There are about 500,000 workers in the Thai auto industry.

THE JAKARTA POST: Ford to release eight new global models in ASEAN by 2015


More carmakers are now offering models based on a global platform to reduce costs while at same time paying attention to the local needs. PT Ford Motor Indonesia (FMI) currently invites The Jakarta Post’s Novan Iman Santosa and number of other Indonesian journalists to Bangkok to attend the launch of Ford Ranger pickup truck as well as the Bangkok International Motor Show 2011.

American carmaker Ford Motor Company, the only one that escaped the 2008 financial crisis, launched its next generation global compact pickup truck, the All-New Ford Ranger in Bangkok on March 23 in a launching event inviting journalists from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam in addition to host Thailand.

The new Ranger will be made at the Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) facility in Rayong, Thailand with an investment of some US$50 million, Ford ASEAN president Peter Fleet told reporters at the launch event.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car | Video on TED.com

AFG SUNDAY CANDY:

This is an amazing presentation from this year's TED (TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING DESIGN) Conference.

Please take the time to watch it!

Sebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car | Video on TED.com

Friday, April 1, 2011

EXOTIC CARS – Bufori La Joya: Palanquin on wheels

The royal Bufori La Joya casts a modern-day spell on a vintage-looking coach. GAADI.COM explores this extraordinary piece of Malaysian craftsmanship. Read the article here.
Made in Malaysia: The Bufori La Joya

Honda parts suppliers resuming production soon


Some of Honda's parts suppliers in Japan will resume production on Monday, beginning the process of restoring auto assembly to more normal levels, the company said yesterday.

The automaker had cut back to partial shifts at its Ohio assembly plants, beginning two days ago, because of a dwindling supply of parts.

PDN: Thailand’s Auto Industry Unaffected by Japan’s Disasters.

According to the top Thai industry executive, Thailand’s automotive industry is expected to continue growing higher this year even though Japan, which is the main manufacturer and distributor of automotive parts, has been distressed by the recent earthquake and tsunami. 

MANILA STANDARD: Bangkok’s big bash

The “Detroit of the East” that is Thailand once again has its doors wide open for the whole world to see the best that the Bangkok auto industry has to offer. For two weeks until April 3, the annual motorama showcases various car models with the distinctive Thai touch. “We hope to sell 28,000 cars and raise 30 million baht,” said Pramjin Imlamnao, Chief Organizer of the 32nd Bangkok International Motorshow.