Thursday, December 13, 2012

5-yr auto plan aims for top-10 ranking

THE NATION reports:

The third master plan for the Thai automobile sector has been drawn up, alongside a study of long-term development of the industry with a view to establishing the Kingdom as one of the world's key manufacturing hubs by increasing production from 2.3 million units this year to 5.6 million units by 2050.

The Thailand Automotive Institute's five-year master plan for 2012-2016 is focused on increasing output by an average of 10 per cent annually.

The plan is also aimed at making the country one of the top 10 auto-manufacturing nations within the same time scale and increasing the use of local content in the industry from 40 per cent now to 50 per cent.

In addition, the institute's long-term development goal is to increase production step by step over the next several decades. Targeted output is 3.3 million units in 2020, rising to 4.5 million units by 2030, 5 million units by 2040, and 5.6 million units in 2050.

Witoon Simachokedee, permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry, said yesterday that the plan would be submitted to the industry minister for approval soon.

If successful, the plan will enable the Kingdom to achieve value creation and sustainable growth of the auto industry as it focuses on becoming a global manufacturing hub.

Under the plan, manufacturing will concentrate on development in four areas: "green" vehicles, using alternative energy such as biodiesel, ethanol and compressed natural gas; light-weight cars with a high standard for energy saving; autos equipped with information technology to facilitate driving; and high-safety manufacturing in all vehicles types - passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Witoon said there would be no "product champion" concept as there had been in the two previous master plans, which focused on pickup and eco-car manufacturing, respectively.

Instead, the new plan will concentrate all vehicles that can use a variety of energy sources, notably hybrids and electric vehicles, in line with the global manufacturing trend of the industry. The forecast is that both hybrid and electric cars will be much more popular by 2020.

Patima Jeerapaet, president of the Thailand Automotive Institute, said the plan focused on five key development areas: technology and research and development; the excellence of skilled labour, and human-resources development; strengthening the competitiveness of manufacturers; encouraging a good environment from basic infrastructure upward; and the setting up of a policy-steering committee for the auto and auto-parts industry.

The government should encourage the establishment of an auto-testing centre in Thailand, which would be used as the testing centre for Asean, said Patima.

Thailand has agreed with other Asean countries to develop such a test and R&D centre. The proposal is being studied by the National Economic and Social and Development Board.

The centre would require an investment of Bt8.1 billion, with construction divided into two phases. The first phase, for a standard-testing centre worth Bt3.2 billion on 200 rai of land close to a deep-sea port and automotive and parts manufacturing plants in the East of the country, would be completed by 2015.

The second phase, costing Bt4.9 billion, would focus on a centre for product testing and an R&D facility for new products, including parts.

Monday, December 10, 2012

CHINA DAILY: SAIC and Charoen Pokphand Group form Thai joint venture

Moving to tap markets in Southeast Asia, China's largest automaker SAIC Motor Corp recently agreed to form a joint venture with Charoen Pokphand Group to produce its MG cars in Thailand.

The Shanghai-listed automaker said in a statement last week that it will have a 51 percent stake in the planned joint venture, and CP Group, the biggest conglomerate in Thailand, will hold the remaining 49 percent.

With initial investment of 1.8 billion yuan ($290 million), the joint venture is set to start production in 2014. It will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 vehicles at the outset, which could increase to 200,000.

It is the first SAIC joint venture with a foreign partner to produce its own brand passenger vehicles overseas, part of the company's efforts to greatly boost its foreign deliveries to 800,000 vehicles a year by 2015.

SAIC said that it also plans to export the Thailand-made MG to other Southeast Asian markets and some countries elsewhere that use right-hand-drive vehicles.

Nanjing Automotive Co purchased UK auto group MG Rover in 2005 following its bankruptcy. SAIC later merged with Nanjing auto and now makes its own passenger vehicles under the Roewe and MG brands.

Thanks to its successful partnerships with GM and Volkswagen, SAIC has become the leading automaker in China, but it still lags behind smaller domestic counterparts such as Chery Automobile Co and Great Wall Motors in overseas businesses for wholly owned brands.

Though it has annual sales of some 4 million units, SAIC exported only about 60,000 vehicles last year, the majority of them are Chevrolets made with its joint venture partner General Motors. The exports also included a small number of MG cars assembled at SAIC's plant in the UK.

According to domestic media reports, SAIC also plans to bring its wholly owned commercial vehicle brand Maxus Datong to Thailand for local production when the time is right.

An important auto-manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia, Thailand produced a record high of more than 2 million vehicles in the first 11 months of the year, nearly half of them for export. The Thai Automotive Industry Club previously said that the nation's annual automobile output will hit 3 million in five years.

Japanese carmakers currently lead Southeast Asian markets with massive production facilities in both Thailand and Indonesia.

Check out the article here

Sunday, December 9, 2012

AFG looks into the future for the auto industry in Thailand

Doc Iain Corness reports in Pattaya Mail on our last AFG Meeting with Dr. Moser:

The November meeting for the Automotive Focus Group (AFG) saw an invitation extended to a Professor from the Swiss University of St Gallen, Dr. Roger Moser.

The University of St. Gallen is one of the foremost business universities in Europe and on a par-level with the very best institutions around the world and through Dr. Moser has conducted studies for the Chinese and Indian auto markets.

In China his research was done for business development for BMW, while the Indian study was for the aerospace consortium EADS.

Dr. Moser is currently conducting a study into our automotive future, called Thailand Automotive 2022.  At the meeting he shared the first trends and some interesting information about the methodology of this study.

Read the full article here
Download Dr Mosers presentation here

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bualung Securities classifies AAPICO a BUY

Bualung Securities reports after AAPICO Opportunity Day 29.11.2012:

Profit in line with estimate

AH reported a 3Q12 net profit of Bt168m, up 24% YoY but down 40% QoQ. The result was in line with our estimate but below 22% the Bloomberg consensus. 9M12 earnings jumped 98% YoY to Bt543m (boosted by insurance payouts and stronger other income than assumed), which represents 94% of our earlier FY12 projection.

Results highlights

Sales rose by 42% YoY and 9% QoQ to Bt4.3bn. The 3Q12 top-line expansion was due to capacity expansion at AH's main plant in Hitech Industrial Estate in order to supply rising demand from car makers for component parts to manufacture vehicles for both domestic and export sale. Gross margin fattened further to 6.6percent from 6.3% the previous quarter. But AH's net margin fell to 4.0percent from 7.1% in 2Q12 and 4.5% in 3Q11 because of higher OPEX, mostly related to the new capacity.


We anticipate that the firm will deliver weaker QoQ core earnings for 3Q12 (excluding insurance payouts), as its new capacity entails higher OPEX during the commissioning stages.

What's changed?

We have revised up our FY12 earnings projection by 17% to Bt677m to factor in gains from insurance payouts of about Bt100m during 9M12. We maintain our FY13 and FY14 forecasts unchanged at Bt600m and Bt690m, respectively.


Our YE13 target price stands at Bt27.5, pegged to a PER of 12x. AH currently trades at an undemanding FY13 PER at 8.4x, which is significantly below its long-term mean of Bt12.3x. Given 46% upside to our YE13 target price and scope for further earnings forecast upgrades on new orders from Toyota and Isuzu in 2H13, we maintain our BUY rating.

You can follow the webcast here (in Thai language) and download their presentation here (in English language).

Golden year for auto industry

THE NATION reports:

This year can certainly be considered the golden year for Thailand's automobile industry.

Just grab a look at these figures: apart from achieving a new sales record of an expected 1.4 million vehicles, 2012 also marks the first year that the industry has broken the 2-million-vehicle production mark.

Auto exports from Thailand this year is estimated at Bt1 trillion, making the auto industry the biggest earning industry, with 1-tonne pickup trucks and eco-cars as the mainstream products, as well as auto parts and components.

Watching this growth trend, many are already eyeing the 3-million-vehicle production mark for the auto industry.

The Industry Ministry along with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the Auto Industry and the Auto Parts Industry Club of the FTI, Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA), Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (TAPMA), Board of Investment (BoI) and the Thai Automotive Institution (TAI) recently celebrated the 2-million-vehicle production success and is eyeing production of 3 million vehicles in 2017.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Industrial Ministry targets 3mn annual car output by 2017

More news from THE NATION:

The Industry Ministry has set a target for the country's total automobile production to reach 3 million units by 2017.

In collaboration with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) represented by the Automotive Industry Club and the Auto Parts Industry Club; the Thai Automotive Industry Association; the Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers' Association; the Office of the Board of Investment; and the Thailand Automotive Institute, the ministry yesterday announced that production by the the Thai automotive industry had exceeded 2 million units for the first time.

Ministry permanent secretary Vitoon Simachokdee said total production was expected to reach about 2.3 million this year, of which 1.3 million vehicles would for sale domestically and the rest for export.

About 252,165 vehicles were manufactured in October alone, up 410 per cent over the same month last year. The high growth was due to the low production at the end of last year because of the massive floods that hit Bangkok and many provinces.

About 2.5 million vehicles are expected to be manufactured next year, partly driven by the government's first-car tax-break scheme, for which some deliveries will be made in 2013.

Vitoon said the Thailand Automotive Institute would offer the ministry a development plan for the auto industry, to be in effect from this year through 2016, including a test centre for auto parts and a driving-test facility worth a total of about Bt8 billion.

"The automotive sector is one of the country's major strategic industries. The Ministry of Industry has played a vital role in establishing the policy and strategy for the integrated development of the automotive industry, leading to tremendous annual value-added benefits for Thailand," he said.

"These benefits include growing exports, increased employment, technological development and many activities to boost the potential development of the automotive industry and related industries all through the supply chain."

He said the automotive and auto-parts industries played a very significant role in the generation of national income. The companies in the automotive sector are also major players in the social development of Thailand, employing more than 800,000 skilled labourers, with the subsequent transfer of high-technology production techniques and knowledge.

Thailand's entry to the Asean Economic Community, which is a large market, will present a significant opportunity for Thai auto manufacturers. The government will set a strategy to achieve the goal of producing more than 3 million vehicles by 2017.

FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said: "The Thai automotive industry has grown steadily with continual support from the government and other relevant private organisations, all of which have worked together to drive the entire industry.

"The government has set the policy and direction that have been implemented by the private sector to enhance the industry's competitiveness in the global market, making Thailand one of the world's top 10 automobile-production bases."

He added that 2012 "marks a golden year of the Thai automotive industry as we celebrate the production of more than 2 million cars with an export value of more than Bt1 trillion, topping all exports from Thailand. The product champions are pickups and eco-cars, and auto parts were also shipped globally.

"With such positive trends in mind, the automotive industry anticipates that Thai automobile production will soon reach more than 3 million units," Payungsak said.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First-car rebates expected to pass 600,000 by year-end


The Excise Department yesterday revealed that registrations for tax refunds under the first-car rebate scheme exceeded 581,000 valued at about Bt43 billion.

"We expect the total number of applications to the first-car scheme will exceed 600,000 by the time the project ends, so more than the 500,000 units targeted earlier by the department," said Excise Department director-general Somchai Poonsawat. The programme ends on December 31.

"Although the number of car buyers eligible for tax rebates will exceed our target, we will not limit the amount of money to be refunded to them, which is in line with the government's policy. As the first car-scheme will expire at the end of this year, I have relayed the policy to all staff of the Excise Department to facilitate anyone asking for the tax refund," he said.

It had been expected that if the 500,000-unit target were reached, the tax-refund budget would be about Bt32 billion, he said.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thai Automotive Industry highlights its production achievement of more than 2 million cars in 2012

Thailand FTI Press Release in full:

Bangkok – 23 November 2012:  The Ministry of Industry, in collaboration with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) represented by the Automotive Industry Club and  the Auto Parts Industry Club; the Thai Automotive Industry Association; the Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association; the Office of the Board of Investment; and the Thailand Automotive Institute, announced a milestone for the Thai automotive industry of reaching annual production of more than two million automobiles for the first time. They also revealed their commitment to boost investor confidence and set a goal to produce three million cars per year by 2017.
From Left to Right: Mr. Yongkiat Kitaphanich, President of the Auto-Parts Industry Club, The Federation of Thai Industries, Mr. Suparat Sirisuwannangura, President of the Automotive Industry Club, The Federation of Thai Industries, Mr. Payungsak Chartsutipol, Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, Mr. Vitoon Simachokdee, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Industry, Mr. Patima Jeerapaet, President, Thailand Automotive Institute, Mrs. Piengjai Keawsuwan, President of the Thai Automotive Industry Association, Mrs. Achana Limpaitoon, President of the Thai Auto-Parts Manufacturers Association

According to Mr. Vitoon Simachokdee, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Industry, “The Thai automotive sector is one of the country’s major strategic industries. The Ministry of Industry has played a vital role in establishing the policy and strategy for the integrated development of the automotive industry, leading to tremendous annual value-added benefits for Thailand. These benefits include growing exports, increased employment, technological development and many activities to boost the potential development of the automotive industry and related industries all through the supply chain.

The Ministry has defined the policy to promote and support investments, encouraging investors worldwide to build automotive and auto parts production bases in Thailand and driving for innovative developments in tandem with the globalization trend. Our ultimate goal is to strengthen the Thai automotive industry as part of the country’s economic and social development plan while forming a balanced basis for the sustainable development of the country as a whole.

“Thailand’s automotive and auto parts industries play a very significant role in the generation of national income and added value. The companies in the automotive sector are also major players in the social development of Thailand, employing more than 800,000 skilled laborers with the subsequent transfer of high-technology production techniques and knowledge. Thailand’s entry into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is a large market, will present a significant opportunity for Thai auto manufacturers. The government will set a strategy to achieve the goal of producing more than three million cars by 2017,” said Mr. Vitoon.

Mr. Payungsak Chartsutipol, Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said, “The Thai automotive industry has grown steadily with continual support from the government and other relevant private organizations, all of which have worked together to drive the entire industry. The government has set the policy and direction that has been implemented by the private sector to enhance the industry’s competitiveness in the global market, making Thailand one of the world’s top 10 automobile production bases.

2012 marks a golden year of the Thai automotive industry as we celebrate the production of more than two million cars with an export value of more than one trillion baht, topping all exports from Thailand. The product champions are pickups and eco cars, and auto parts were also shipped globally. With such positive trends in mind, the automotive industry anticipates that Thai automobile production will soon reach more than three million units,” added Mr. Payungsak.

Thailand’s automotive industry helps to develop and strengthen Thailand
For more than 50 years, the Thai automotive industry has provided economic, technological, social and environmental benefits for the country.

Economic benefits: The value created by the Thai automotive industry accounts for 10% of Thailand’s GDP.  Thailand is the world’s 6th largest exchange earner in automobiles and auto parts and will be among the world’s top 10 automotive production bases, given its 2012 production output.  Accumulated automobile exports for 2012 are anticipated to more than one million units with total value of more than one trillion baht, comprised of automobile exports of 600 billion baht and auto part exports of 400 billion baht. The Thai automotive industry is the largest sector in terms of generating foreign income for the country and has developed a large and solid base of related local industries. Currently, Thailand has more than 2,500 manufacturing plants for vehicles, auto parts suppliers and related industries. So far during 2012, there have been applications for promotional privileges in the automotive segment, with a total value of 202,800 million baht, up 95% from last year.

Technological benefits: Technology is a key factor in the development of Thailand’s automotive sector. Automotive and auto parts manufacturers have established nine research & development centers in Thailand, which has led to the increasing transfer of production and industrial management expertise. The Thai automotive industry has successfully raised production standards for its made-in-Thailand brands to meet leading international quality certifications and levels.

Social and environmental benefits: The Thai automotive industry has played a major role in enhancing the quality of people’s lives by creating employment and improving the skills that are the heart of the production process. The industry has made a major contribution to the development of transportation in Thailand and has spread prosperity to many communities. On the environmental side, the automotive industry is taking the lead in promoting the awareness of environmental protection. Automobiles and auto parts are produced to meet international Euro and emissions standards. Other highlights include the development of environmentally-friendly technologies and social initiatives that have been implemented on a continual basis to protect communities and the environment.

To celebrate the milestone, a major celebration event called “The Thai Auto 2 Million Celebration: The New Dimension Drives The World” will take place on November 30, 2012 at the Royal Jubilee Ballroom, Challenger Building, Muang Thong Thani. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will chair the event and deliver a keynote address.  The Thai public can learn more about the Thai automotive industry’s potential at a striking exhibition featuring the 50-year history of the industry and its next step into the global arena. The exhibition will be at the 29th Thailand International Motor Expo in front of the Challenger Hall, Muang Thong Thani, between November 29 and December 10, 2012.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Auto sector moving into high gear

THE STAR, MALAYISA: For years, Malaysia must have viewed the moves Thailand has made to its auto industry with some envy. Despite starting from scratch and well behind Malaysia's auto industry, Thailand now has arguably the most dynamic auto industry in South-East Asia, with Indonesia fast catching up.

Has the opportunity to have a meaningful and competitive auto sector bypassed Malaysia?

Not if you ask Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

He feels the Malaysian automotive industry is set to enter an exciting decade of liberalisation and growth, where consumers get to enjoy more choices and value as the motor vehicle market would be more open and competitive.

Check out the article here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Honda output to rise 20% next year

THE NATION reports:

Honda Automobile (Thailand) aims to boost annual car production capacity by 20 per cent next year to 240,000 units from the present 220,000, according to executive vice president Pitak Pruittisarikorn.

Of the planned 20-per-cent output hike, 10 per cent would be implemented early next year and the remaining in the second half. This will see its production capacity increase from 1,000 units per month to 1,100 and subsequently to 1,200 units per month to cater to rising demand.

Honda launched its 10th model this year after its flood-stricken plant in Ayutthaya resumed operations in April, this year.

The new model, Brio Amaze, is a four-door version of Honda's first eco-car Brio. The Brio Amaze is powered by a 90-horsepower 1.2-litre engine and is available in four variants: S manual transmission priced at Bt454,000; S automatic transmission at Bt493,000; V MT at Bt482,000; and V AT at Bt521,000.

Customers buying the Brio Amaze under the First Car Buyer scheme will receive tax rebates ranging from Bt65,000 to Bt73,000. A total of 39 Honda Click 125i motorcycles are also to be given away through daily lucky draws.

Pitak said "since returning to full strength in just eight months, Honda has set a new record in the Thai automotive industry for launching the highest number of new models. The launch of the all-new Brio Amaze is the tenth model in the Honda 2012 line-up and its second eco-car. Based on the original Brio, the new model represents a milestone as a result of collaboration between Japanese and Thai engineers at the Asia Pacific Honda Research & Development Centre here. The new Brio is designed to meet customer needs in Thailand and Asia. Honda also strove to ensure that Brio Amaze could be launched before the end of the Thai government's first-car buyer programme."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Industry roars ahead with over 2m vehicles


This year, Thailand will produce more than 2 million vehicles for the first time in history. 

It has taken more than five decades for the industry to come this far, and it speaks volumes of the success of all sectors that have been involved, whether government or private. 

In 2011 two major disasters were responsible for rocking Thailand's automobile industry - the East Japan earthquake and the great Thai flood. Both the tsumani in Japan and the mega flood in Thailand caused a disruption in the supply of parts that brought production lines to a halt. It also shook Thailand's position as a regional production hub, as production in other countries was also affected. 

The earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 heavily damaged many important auto parts production facilities in Japan, causing parts shortages. 

With assembly plants coming to a halt, the whole industry teamed up to overcome the problem and resume normal production. Auto-makers started to assist parts-makers in several ways in order to bring back this important link in the production chain. 

The government also assisted parts-makers in many ways, including relief from tax measures. It waived import duty on new machinery for replacing flood-damaged factories, waived import duty on CBU vehicles for assembly plants damaged by the flood, and waived import duty on auto parts for manufacturers damaged by the flood. 

Apart from quickly resolving production issues, the private sector also launched strong marketing strategies and introduced a large number of new vehicles. The government, on the other hand, launched assistance measures and put more focus on the First Car Buyer Programme. Auto-makers responded very well to the measures and helped drive the whole industry to new heights. 

According to the First Car scheme, the excise duty for vehicles that qualify (not more than Bt100,000) will be returned to the buyer after one year of purchase. Orders must be placed and applications submitted no later than December 31, 2012. There is no deadline for vehicle delivery. 

Auto manufacturers have not been able to deliver as many as 100,000 vehicles ordered since late 2011 due to the flood, and the First Car scheme has earned carmakers even more orders, with the industry growing by more than 70 per cent compared to the previous year. 

Apart for the increased demand, the large number of new vehicles, especially in the sub-compact, small and eco-car segments, as well as production increases, have aided the industry in achieving a new production record of 2 million vehicles. This is unprecedented. 

With the strong recovery, the government and private sector had predicted that 2012 would be a golden year for the auto industry. Domestic sales had been forecasted to reach 1.2 million vehicles, with a production of 2.2 million - both figures being the highest in history. After eight months, auto-makers started to raise their annual forecast to 1.3 million vehicles, and it was later raised to 1.4 million. 

This great recovery of the auto industry requires not only high market demand. The strength of our automobile industry built up in the last 50 years will indeed help it tackle every situation that arises, and soon place Thailand in the ranks of the world's top 10 auto producers.

Eye on the 3-million figure 

Thailand's next target is to produce 3 million vehicles in 2017, says Suparat Sirisuwannangkura, chairman of the Automotive Industry Group of the Federation of Thai Industries. 

Click here to

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Honda makes record sales


Since resuming full production at its Ayutthaya manufacturing plant in April 2012, Japanese auto-maker Honda has made a dashing come-back to achieve record sales in Thailand. Honda, which launched nine new models in the past seven months, sold 21,265 vehicles in October.

This represents an increase of 14 per cent over the 18,614 vehicles sold in September, setting the highest-ever monthly sales record in the company's history. Accumulated sales from January to October this year were 127,709 vehicles, exceeding Honda's previous annual sales record of 114,056 in 2010.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What the Steps to Consider in looking for the best Arkansas Auto Repairs Shop?

In the midst of the busy schedule of the people in Arkansas, having an own car is really a great relief since you need not wait for cabs, or any other public transportation just to bring you to places as soon as possible, especially, when work is concern. But cars also get tired and broken, especially when used regularly.

This is a great problem, particularly to those car-independent. When this happens, their cars need to be fixed right away. So where to go in times like this?

It is indeed not an easy task to look for a credible and efficient auto repairs shop. When there are wrong moves done while fixing your car, bigger problems might arise, resulting to a much longer period of time that you and your car will be away from one another. So for this not to happen, think first of the best auto repairs shop where you can entrust your car, let it get fixed, and have it back in just a couple of time.

In Arkansas, a lot of auto repairs shops exist, but how will you know if that is the best for you?

1. Check for their certificates- the presence of certificates will add to the credibility of the company. Also, check for the legal matters on their side, like business permits and the like. This will also heighten the credibility mark.

2. Look for them on the net- search for the auto repairs shop that you have been eyeing before doing a business with them. With their website, you can check first how this shop has been doing to its previous clients. It would be better if the website of the shop has the testimonial part where you can check the personal thoughts of their previous clients, so that from there you can have a basis on whether you will deal with them or not.

3. If in case you are already on the auto repairs shop proper, what you have to do is to first verify from them the steps that they will be doing on fixing your car for you to check their knowledge and confidence on the problem.

4. Ask referrals from friends and relatives- among all people, friends and relatives are the most credible people to ask about this. You may ask them on their experiences on different auto repairs shop and from there, try considering some.

5. Repairing experience of the employee- learn the basic information of the employees of the shop. This will be a background check on them for you to have a hold on them if in any case worst things happen. Also, know their length of service and how they work throughout that length of time. This will give you an idea on how they will be performing towards the repair of your car.

These are just few things to consider in terms of looking for the best auto repairs Rogers Ar shop. This might appear so tedious, but this will help. Remember, cars are expensive. You might not want to lose one just because of improper service.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Feud-weary Japanese auto part firms fleeing China

THE STAR reports:

After anti-Japan protesters in China smashed cars and torched dealerships, Koito Manufacturing Co. suspended a plan to triple output in the country.

With a new factory half-built, Koito — a Toyota Motor Corp. supplier — reasoned that it may no longer need it.

“Demand from automakers is unclear, so we don’t know how long we will have to freeze the project,” said Shinji Karasawa, spokesman for the Tokyo-based headlight maker.

Along with Koito, Japanese parts-makers including Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. and Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. are rethinking plans to expand in China, where Toyota’s sales plunged 41 per cent in September as demonstrations over disputed East China Sea islands flared. The manufacturers are focusing expansion plans on Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia, a sign that this year’s drop in Japanese investment in China may deepen next year, crimping bilateral trade that has tripled to $340 billion in the last decade.

“Our board members had been vaguely wondering if we should move future production out of China; then the protests prodded us to decide to accelerate planning toward moving out,” said Masayoshi Matsumoto, president of Sumitomo Electric, the world’s second-biggest maker of wiring harnesses.

Click here to read more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Toyota targets 1m vehicles annually

Bangkok Post reports:

Toyota plans to build as many as 1 million vehicles a year in Thailand in the near future.

Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda gives a presentation at Thursday’s ceremony in Bangkok marking the 50th anniversary of the Japanese carmaker’s Thai operations.

Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, revealed the plan at a ceremony in Bangkok on Thursday celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Japanese carmaker's Thai operations.

Click here for more information…

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Isuzu sales seen hitting new high of 210,000 this year

THE NATION: Tripetch Isuzu Sales Co expects to see its sales reach a new high of 210,000 units this year due mainly to the launch of the redesigned Isuzu D-Max pickup in October 2011, last year's floods and the government's first-time-car-buyer tax break.

Tripetch president Hiroshi Nakagawa said the overall Thai automotive industry had expanded to record highs, and Isuzu's sales volume had also grown to its highest point this year.

At the end of September, Isuzu sales already totalled 200,000 units, compared with 130,00 for all of last year. Its previous sales record was 160,000 units in 2005.

Because of high demand for its pickups and a delivery delay of three to four months after last year's floods, Isuzu recently raised its production capacity through a new Bt6.5-billion plant at Gateway City Industrial Estate. The new plant commenced production last month.

Isuzu also has a plant in Samut Prakan. When production at the two plants is fully merged in February, annual production capacity will reach 400,000 units.

Read more here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

GM to introduce Chevrolet Spin in Thailand mid 2013

The US carmaker will introduce a new-generation MPV, the Chevrolet Spin, in Thailand in the second half of next year, a multipurpose seven-seater that will be assembled in Indonesia.

GM Thailand has enjoyed strong local sales growth this year after boosting its presence in the rapidly growing Thai automobile market with three new models designed to appeal to a large cross-section of buyers.

In the first nine months of this year, GM had sold 52,945 vehicles in Thailand for a 5.36% market share compared with 32,000 sold for all of last year.

By comparison, Chevrolet sold only 3,739 vehicles in Indonesia for a 0.49% market share and 1,533 cars in the Philippines for a 1.17% share.

"GM Thailand expects to record 130% sales growth this year, the highest performance among our group's operating units globally, followed by Poland with 53% and South Korea with 20.3%," said Laurent Berthet, the communications director for Southeast Asia.

"Thailand ranks 11th for us in terms of market share."

Next target: 3 Million cars per year…..

From a BANGKOK POST Interview with Thavorn Chalasthien, assistant secretary of the Human Capacity Building Institute, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI):

It took half a century for the Thai automobile industry and tremendous efforts from both government and private sectors to achieve annual production of 2 million vehicles.

Thavorn Chalasthien
Today, this industry has grown into one of the country's strategic industries that generates billions of baht for Thailand.

Indeed, the auto parts sector is the heart of the Thai automobile industry. But what's important is creating stability for Thailand as a sustainable auto production and export hub, and this will depend on a number of key factors.

Hundreds of billion baht have been invested in the Thai auto industry, with over Bt100 billion going for research and development.

The next target for the industry is to produce 3 million vehicles per year for supplying the Asia-Pacific and global markets. There is also a good possibility that Thailand will replace other countries as the manufacturing hub for many brands, due to its strong foundation that includes the auto parts industry.

Read more here.

Nissan's plan for expansion

NISSAN Thailand plans to significantly increase capacity...said Friday it would spend about 358 million to build its second auto assembly plant in Thailand, as it ramps up production away from its costly home base of Japan.

The new plant in Samut Prakan province will be constructed close to  Nissan’s existing factory near Bangkok, which employs about 6,000 people.  

Takayuki Kimura, President Nissan Thailand
Nissan’s plant emerged largely unscathed from record flooding last year  that dented Japanese firms operating in the country, although it temporarily  stopped production due to a parts shortage  
Japan’s second-biggest automaker said it would initially build 75,000  vehicles at the new plant, scheduled to open in August 2014, before expanding  annual output to 150,000 units

Read more:

Nissan plans to double Thai Output - Bangkok Post

Nissan to build new auto plant in Thailand - Latest - New Straits Times

Monday, October 29, 2012

Proton: DRB-Hicom set to announce automaker’s Japanese strategic partner today


According to a report, DRB-Hicom has selected a Japanese carmaker as Proton’s first foreign strategic partner, and that partnership is set to be announced in Japan later today.

The report by Business Times doesn’t name the automaker, only venturing through a person familiar with the matter that the partner “is among the top 10 manufacturers in the world.” The BT report adds that that there are four Japanese automakers in that global list for 2012, namely Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Suzuki.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Achana Limpaitoon: AEC brings opportunities - and risks

BANGKOK POST 25.10.2012

Fresh investments likely, but parts-makers need to raise standards dramatically

It is undeniable that the coming of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) brings with it both opportunities and risks for the Thai auto parts industry. 

As Thailand formally enters the AEC in 2015, among the expected benefits include the birth of a much larger market place, with higher quality for raw materials and parts, as well as lower prices. This is a great chance for fresh investments and for Thai companies to raise their capabilities. Of course, Asean could well become an important parts production hub in the future.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bangkok Post: Wage boost risks stalling the auto industry

It has been half a year since the government embarked upon the 40 per cent nationwide minimum wage increase. Another boost is scheduled for January. Many have expressed concern over the risk of companies relocating production bases. Some have argued in the wage rise's favour due to subsequent productivity improvement.

Read more here

Thai Vehicle Output +31.2%, Exports +8.4% in September

Thailand's vehicle production and exports increased in September as auto makers continued to play catch-up from the effects of last year's flooding, and as tax incentives for first-time car buyers added oomph to domestic demand, the Federation of Thai Industries said Thursday.
Production increased to 228,500 vehicles in September, 8.6% more than in August, and 31.2% more than in September last year, the federation said in a statement.
Exports increased 15.2% on month and 8.4% on year to 98,268 vehicles.

Read more here

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thai Automotive Sales Statistics August 2012

August was no record month for the Thai Auto Industry - but we are well on track to reach and break the 2.2 Mio mark in 2012.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sales July 2012

The amazing, record breaking story of Thai Automotive Sales continues. Thailand's automotive industry sells cars like hotcakes … enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

AFG Meeting with Andrew Durieux

Yesterday, 25 AFG members joined Andrew Durieux's brilliant presentation about AEC 2015 which you can download here. The team from Amari Orchid organized a splendid setting and provided excellent service – thank you very much.

For more details (and a synopsis) check out Doc Iain's article in Pattaya Mail by clicking here.

The 'bonus presentation' about Myanmar and it's Automotive Industry an be downloaded here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

TUV SUD builds B20m testing lab

The local unit of the German testing specialist TUV SUD has launched a new automotive testing laboratory here, which it hopes will maintain the company's two-digit growth in the sector.

TUV SUD PSB (Thailand) has invested 20 million baht in a 400-square-metre automotive laboratory in the Thailand Science Park in Pathum Thani province, where the company is located, said general manager Boey Kok Fai.

The new laboratory will focus on international-standard testing of components including tyres and wheels.

"We expect revenue growth for our automotive business, which is a third of our total business, to grow by double digits this year. Thailand is a very big market for us. There are lots of original equipment manufacturers here and they are more or less trying to look for local suppliers," said Mr Boey.

Check out the full article here

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thailand Automotive Sales H1 2012

Total domestic car sales during January to June mark a new record in Thailand auto industry with a total 606,523 of vehicles were sold with 40.4% increase compared to the previous year. The growth is classified into that of 46.3% rise in commercial vehicles and 33.1% in passenger cars. Please find below the sales figures for the Thai Auto Industry for the first half of 2012.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Top 5 Automotive News Stories of 2012

The Toyota Gas Pedal Malfunction and Recall When off-duty Police Officer Mark Saylor and three members of his family were killed in a collision as passengers a Toyota Lexus ES 350 sedan that was uncontrollably accelerating down a California Highway, it attracted attention. The cause of the horrible accident was an apparent flaw in the design of the Lexus' gas pedal. This was only one of several stories that, when considered together, painted an eerily similar story of acceleration issues in multiple Toyota models. As horrible as this would be in taken as it is, the story continued to worsen as a former Toyota lawyer reported that the company first ignored the problem when it was reported, and then tried to cover it up. To date, according to one safety research firm, there have been more than 34 sudden acceleration deaths in Toyotas, more than any other car maker.
The 2009 Tesla Roadster Hits the Market Tesla put out the two-seater electric powered sports car this year with a single speed a transmission that can do 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, seamlessly, and that has a sleek front end and smooth, and contoured rear end that reach as far as the rear wheel wells.
China Becomes the New Automotive Superpower Trends in auto sales generally tell a great deal about the direction the economy of a country is taking. In 2009, fourteen years ahead of schedule, China overtook the USA in projected car purchases for the year, making it the world's largest car market.
The Release of the 2009 Honda FXC This alternative energy vehicle uses hydrogen as fuel, propelled by an electric engine that runs on electricity from hydrogen powered FXC fuel cell stacks. At 267 miles, it drives a distance of 50 miles more than any other competitor's hybrid equivalent, making it the perfect car for city-to-work driving. Also, as the first practical option of fuel cell cars that is designed to withstand sub-zero temperatures, and that has a top speed of 93 mile an hour, it has been well received by consumers.
The Dodge Viper is Vapor Last year saw the end of the Viper, the American sports car icon, and they decided it would go out in style. With the help of Fiat (the Italian carmaker Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) they announced that they would be ending the series with several encore models that would be available to Viper customers. Several of them took advantage of this last chance opportunity to help design their own custom Vipers, with some memorable results. The last one off the line, a 2010 Viper SRT10 Coupe, was the most striking example. It was painted dark gunmetal graphite with copper racing stripes, aluminum five spoke wheels, and bronze leather interior, and ended things with a bang.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Automotive News - All You Need To Know About Cars

Automotive News - All You Need To Know About CarsAutomobile manufacturers all over the world constantly maintain positive sale performances this year regardless of rising oil prices. Not even the horrible earthquake in Japan which happened earlier this year could slow down the pace of the automotive industry. People's interest on this subject is very high. On the other hand, the industry is ever changing. Many car owners and enthusiasts feel the need to keep up with the latest automotive trends such as new car launches, events, car modification tips, technical guides and race reviews. There is where automotive news comes in.

Besides car aficionados, mechanics and workshop owners can also benefit from the latest automotive news. Vehicles and machines are constantly evolving. More recent models may have newer technologies and more sophisticated features or parts. As mechanics always deal with machines, they need to upgrade their knowledge from time to time, to keep up with the changing trends. They can get the latest updates from automotive news or from attending car exhibitions or motor shows.

Besides going to exhibitions, people can also get the latest information from automotive magazines. There are still many people today who buy physical copies of magazines to add to their collection. With the advancement of technology, the internet has changed the way we live. The internet gives us unlimited access to any kind of information. Now it is possible to get the latest news about the automotive industry online. People can access them anywhere, anytime, and free of charge.

Car reviews and car launch dates are two topics that are often searched by car enthusiasts online. We can also find many online automotive magazines that provide the latest news, trends and tips on the web as well. People can easily access information on new car launches, car modifications, as well as car parts and accessories.

There are thousands of weblogs on the internet that also provide free, comprehensive automotive news. Each of them contains different types of information. Well-established blogs usually provides in-depth news and reviews. Today, potential car buyers can check reviews available on these online journals before deciding on a car to buy.

Automotive forums have become a communication media between aficionados. There, people can post articles, open discussions and interact with other members. Car mechanics are encouraged to use online forums, so that they can get the latest scoop and share their technical know-how as well as experiences to others.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Facts About Automotive Manufacturing in the UK

Facts About Automotive Manufacturing in the UKThe automotive industry in the United Kingdom is one that most people don't know much about, but they are a dynamic, expanding industry that is currently setting their sights on breaking some manufacturing records in the next three years. Combined with multi-billion pound investments of £5.5 billion over the last eighteen months, the future will see thousands more jobs created, new models introduced, and overall production expanded. More cars being built will not only lead to more jobs in the automotive industry, but also in the industry that services cars - manufacturers of car tyres, garages for servicing cars and showrooms where the cars are sold.

The previous record for number of cars produced was set in 1972 with 1.92 million cars driving out of the UK's factories. With annual volumes gradually increasing over the past few years they are set to hit the two million mark in 2015. In 2011 the levels were at 1.3 million, so this equates to an increase in production of over 50%. Considering the economic downturn we have been experiencing over the last few years, it is even more exciting to see a United Kingdom industry helping to lead the economic recovery.

The UK has a longstanding motoring heritage, a wealth of expertise in engineering and a flexible, skilled workforce, which combines with some major international investment to make the UK a desirable location for the global automotive industry to set up their factories. Many people aren't even aware that there are seven volume car manufacturers, three volume commercial vehicle manufacturers, eleven manufacturers of buses and coaches, over 25 niche and specialist vehicle manufacturers and a massive eight Formula One teams along with a large concentration of motorsport firms in an area known as Motorsport Valley. Despite all this, the majority of people probably think that all vehicles are built abroad.

Some more facts you may not be aware of are:
The manufacturing sector employs 145,000 people.
As a whole, the automotive industry in the UK employs more than 700,000 people in manufacturing, retail and aftermarket sectors including a range of showrooms, garages and car tyre retailers.
An average of 1.5 million cars and commercial vehicles are produced annually, and over 2.5 million engines. 80% of the vehicles, and 70% of the engines are then exported.
These exports make the UK automotive industry the largest export sector with 11% of total UK exports, generating about £30 billion annual revenue.
It is an environmentally friendly industry! They are investing in research and development as well as new technologies to create cleaner, safer, more fuel efficient cars with low carbon footprints.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Getting Excited About Automotive Industry News

Getting Excited About Automotive Industry NewsPeople involved with the cars need to stay current with the automotive industry news. Doing so ensures a cutting edge understanding of the new technologies, designs, and trends that bring about a greater success for the industry and a better value for the customer.

The first line of defense when something goes wrong with your car is your trusted mechanic. Your mechanic probably keeps up with the latest news regarding the automotive industry, not just because it is his livelihood, but because he knows that doing so will bring him greater success. A mechanic must be well informed in order to perform maintenance on the latest models and new technologies found in them.

The new technologies often come from prototypes or concept cars. These prototypes are to the automotive industry what the bikini edition is to Sports Illustrated. It's the sexiest and most anticipated event of the year. Manufacturers get to show off their new designs and ideas for the future of the industry. Often times you'll find both designer and general car enthusiasts that line the walls of the annual Detroit Auto Show or similar ones throughout the world. Sometimes these cars set the stage for upcoming cars such as the Chevrolet Volt, which has new "green" technologies that have been implemented in new and upcoming cars.

In addition to designer and enthusiasts being at these trade shows, you'll find inventors and entrepreneurs. These are the folks that often times find ways to implement new technologies in a way that can be delivered to the general public. Such is the case with Tesla Motors, an entrepreneurial company that has found a way to make high performance cars that rival world renowned sports cars, all the while using electricity to power the car.

These people's experience and jobs culminate in serving a very critical person, the consumer. It is after all you and I that drive the industry based on not only how many, but more importantly, what cars we buy. Before we begin our shopping, we should update ourselves based on the industry news and trends. This way we can be sure to get the most bang for our buck.

Clearly, where there is a consumer, there is a dealer. The dealerships must maintain a pulse on the industry trends in order to stock his lots with the cars that we want to buy. Otherwise he won't be in the industry for long.

No matter what role we play in the industry we need to always be sure and keep up with the auto industry news, otherwise how will we be effective at what our role is? It is absolutely critical that we all stay informed. To do so we can: keep magazine subscriptions, attend trade shows, and read blogs and other information about the industry.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Some photo shoots from yesterday's AFG meeting with Hugh Varnijprabha, TEBA Thai European Business Association.