Thursday, June 30, 2011

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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Business Insider Quietly Changes its Headline

In yesterday's post I noted that a story on the increasingly popular Business Insider website misread its source, resulting in a headline and content that were patently false. Several commenters to the original BI story also pointed out that the author had made false claims.

I followed the link in yesterday's post to see if there had been any changes to the story to find that the headline has been changed.

Yesterday's headline:
These Fake Chinese Microchips Were Made To Disarm U.S. Missiles

Today's headline: The Navy Bought Fake Chinese Microchips That Could Have Disarmed U.S. Missiles

While the new headline is somewhat less inflammatory, it still doesn't address the false allegation here, which is that a Chinese entity sold chips to the US that had the capability of being used to disarm US missiles.

Having read both the Wired story and the Washington Post story, I can still find no suggestion that this was the case. By all indications, these were merely "fake" chips -- fake in the sense that they looked like real chips and performed like real chips -- in the same way that a fake Gucci bag both looks and performs like a real one.

In no way do I want to minimize the potential for serious damage that a fake chip could cause to an airplane. I get the fact the potential for damage is much greater than that of a fake handbag.

But there is a HUGE difference in the political implications between a fake chip and a chip that has been deliberately designed to cause damage. HUGE. And if Business Insider doesn't get that, then they are in the wrong business.

Of course the chips "could have" been designed with a back-door, but as long as all possibilities are on the table, let's go ahead and acknowledge that China "could have" nuked Los Angeles yesterday. I mean, they do possess that capability, right?

I looked for some sort of mea culpa, but didn't find one. As a commenter to my post from yesterday seems to imply, Business Insider's inflammatory headline has probably already generated enough page views anyway.

If, for some reason, Business Insider should start to lose viewers in the West, I'm sure Xinhua would welcome some of their editorial expertise. ;-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Hostile Foreign Forces" Making Up Stuff About China

Whenever China encounters difficulties or problems, its state-owned media and foreign ministry are often quick to blame "hostile foreign forces" which include foreign (i.e. non-Chinese) media organizations. These accusations are often preposterous, but unfortunately, they are sometimes based in fact.

An article posted today on Business Insider serves as an unfortunate illustration. The article, "These Fake Chinese Microchips Were Made To Disarm U.S. Missiles," by Robert Johnson levels some startling charges:
Last year, the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in everything from missiles to transponders that turned out to be counterfeits from China.

Wired reports the chips weren't only low-quality fakes, they had been made with a "back-door" and could have been remotely shut down at any time.
What??!! This is a major international incident! Why is it not all over the news?

Following the link to the Wired report, we find out why: it simply isn't true.
The chips turned out to be counterfeits from China, but it could have been even worse. Instead of crappy Chinese fakes being put into Navy weapons systems, the chips could have been hacked, able to shut off a missile in the event of war...
...but they weren't, and a further link in the Wired report to a Washington Post story fills us in on the actual facts as reported by an actual journalist (not that all actual journalists are above fabrication).

My point is that we need to be better than this. If a Chinese company somehow conspired to get fake chips with backdoors into US hardware, then, by all means, let's nail them to the wall. But Business Insider's Robert Johnson has either read the Wired article so quickly that he failed to fully understand it, or he has maliciously fabricated a false story -- and neither reflects very well on Business Insider.

And it just adds to the pile of evidence that the "hostile foreign forces" really do exist.

China's corrupt, opaque system will continue to produce enough negative stories on its own. It isn't necessary to make up stuff like this.

EDIT: Note that since I posted the above, Business Insider has since changed its headline slightly, which prompted me to write this subsequent post.

Monday, June 20, 2011

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Enter The Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions Dirtiest Car Contest

It’s easy to join the contest. Anyone can visit the Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions Facebook page, ‘Like’ the page and submit a photo of their dirty car. Then get as many of your friends to like or comment on your picture. The picture with the most likes or comments by July 31st, 2011 will win a FREE $150 Full Detail from Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

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.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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.