Monday, September 9, 2013

Dana to Build Gear Plant in Thailand

Via American Machinist:

600,000 gear sets/year from new operation to start in 2014
Tier One automotive parts producer Dana Holding Corporation plans to build a new gearmaking plant in Thailand, to open next year and produce up to 600,000 gear sets annually. Ohio-based Dana noted the new plant in Rayong, Thailand, would supply gear sets for its Spicer axle products distributed throughout Southeast Asia.

The value of the capital investment was not indicated.

Dana supplies axles and driveshafts to automakers in the region, including Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Suzuki, and Tata. The company has three plants already in Thailand, employing 650 people, it stated. Approximately 125 new jobs will be established with the new manufacturing plant, the company projected.

The Spicer product line includes axles and driveshafts for commercial vehicles, light trucks, off-highway vehicles, and industrial engines. Specific products include universal joints, driveshaft assemblies, steering shafts, end fittings, wing and center bearings, and end yokes, among various others.

As for gearing, Dana develops its 3-axis gearing technologies in the U.S., and manufactures the products from heat treated steel using face hobbing, shot peening, lapping, and coating.

"Dana is committed to delivering differentiated innovations for growth markets such as Thailand," according to Mark Wallace, president of Dana Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies.  "By expanding our gear development and manufacturing capabilities in the region, Dana will deliver programs more efficiently, and be equipped to handle projected market growth."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ford ASEAN Chief Eyes Further Growth in Asia-Pacific

Via Wall Street Journal

Thailand saw an unprecedented surge in automobile sales last year, driven in large part by a one-off government tax-rebate for first-time car buyers.

Ford Motor Co. Matt Bradley, president of Ford ASEAN, says, “Thailand is a very big piece of the global Ford business.”
But Ford Motor Co. is confident that it will be able to build from that and sell more cars and trucks this year, while the rest of the industry here is poised for a modest slowdown.

Overall, the industry sold 1.4 million vehicles in 2012, and output for the local and export markets also hit a record high of 2.45 million units, helping to restore Thailand’s reputation as a leading global automotive production hub after the disruptions caused by massive flooding across the country in 2011. Now, Ford is aiming to build a larger share of the market not just in Thailand, but across the rest of Asia where the growth outlook still looks rosy compared with the U.S. or Europe.

Boom times for the 'Detroit of Southeast Asia'

Via Bangkok Post:

At a high-tech factory in the world's fastest growing auto production hub, industrial robots and white-suited workers put the finishing touches to hundreds of cars rolling off the assembly line each day.

This picture taken on June 18, 2013 shows employees working on a car assembly line at a Honda plant in Ayuthaya, north of Bangkok.

It could be a scene from Toyota City or Detroit, but this is Thailand, a country better known around the world for its beaches and rice paddies.

With major car makers hit by a global economic downturn, the Southeast Asian nation has emerged as a rare bright spot in recent years.

Thailand's auto production surged 70 percent in 2012 from the previous year, to 2.48 million vehicles, according to the Paris-based International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

In contrast, China and India saw only single digit gains.

Thanks to major investment by Japanese producers as well as US giant Ford, Thailand is Southeast Asia's most prolific car maker, streets ahead of nearest-rival Indonesia.

Last year it exported about one million vehicles.

Domestic sales also continued to surge in the first six months of 2013, although they have since slowed as the number of first time buyers lured into the market by tax breaks tails off.

It is a general growth trend mirrored across much of the region as people switch to cars from motorcycles.

Despite worries about Thailand's wider economic fortunes, car makers remain bullish about the kingdom's long-term prospects and have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into high-tech new plants to prove it.

"There might be black clouds and there might be problems, but overall the car industry is driven by people... people with two wheels who want to get four wheels," says Uli Kaiser, president of industry analysts the Automotive Focus Group Thailand.

"I don't see that desire to stop, and I see Southeast Asia as the strongest growth territory in the world."

As the battle for market share intensifies, big car makers -- many from Japan -- are ploughing cash into new plants determined to sell more vehicles to Thailand's burgeoning consumer classes and take advantage of its location in the heart of Southeast Asia's export markets.

At a Honda factory on the outskirts of Bangkok, it takes three days to fully assemble a new car. Over 1,100 drive off the production line every day.

The Japanese maker is aiming to churn out 420,000 vehicles a year in Thailand by 2015, when a new $644 million car plant is expected to open outside Bangkok.

It is a far cry from 2011 when floods swamped much of the country and shuttered the industry for weeks, raising fears automaking behemoths could shift their operations.

"We were severely affected... if we were a small company we would have gone bankrupt," Pitak Pruittisarikorn, executive vice president of Honda Automobile Thailand, told AFP.

"But from the company that was affected most, we came back to be the company that has the highest growth. Now Thailand is the biggest Honda production base in the region (Asia) and will be in three or five years from now."

Last month rival Toyota started production at a sprawling $340 million assembly plant, its fifth in a country where it sold more than half a million vehicles last year.

The company says it will eventually make 770,000 vehicles -- from passenger cars to vans -- on Thai soil each year.

The group, which employs 13,500 people in Thailand and whose pickup trucks are ever-present on its motorways, is determined to stay in pole position.

"We have to keep our market share... we can keep between 35 and 40 percent," said Kyoichi Tanada, president of Toyota Motor Thailand, outlining his belief that Thai consumers will continue to buy around 1.2 million vehicle each year.

Nissan meanwhile has pledged to open a second factory costing $360 million next year, which will eventually produce 150,000 vehicles annually.

Thailand's car boom has been in part steered by the nation's government which gave the sector a shot-in-the-arm after the floods with its "first car" policy, garnering around 1.25 million orders for new cars qualifying for a tax rebate of up to $2,500.

The "Golden Year" of 2012, was followed by a record first half, but sales have since waned as fears over household debt mount and banks tighten credit lines, prompting many orders under the scheme to be cancelled.

Even so analysts see a bright future for the Thai car market, predicting 10 percent annual growth in the coming years.

It is a projection that will delight car manufacturers, but promises more frustration for Bangkok's traffic-weary motorists.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

AFG examines the local auto industry

The dynamic Automotive Focus Group changed the format of its monthly meetings to incorporate a dinner at the Mantra, as well as some foremost and authoritarian speakers.

With a Mantra full house of 32 members in attendance, the evening was sponsored by CominAsia and EMAG, while the logistics, food and organization were handled very efficiently by the Mantra staff.

The format for the meeting came from suggestions from the members themselves, who expressed an interest in extended Q&A sessions with top and informed speakers, and that is exactly what they got.

Click here Doc Iain's full article of our August Meeting in Pattaya Mail.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Automotive sector to drive Malaysia's competitiveness


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

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

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

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

Both the trade pacts with Japan and Australia, which come into effect in 2016, will see zero import duties for vehicles from these markets.

The National Automotive Policy (NAP), which is undergoing its second revision after the first in 2006, has paved the path towards liberalising the industry further by extending licences to energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) for all vehicles.


How do these developments impact Proton and Perodua?

"They need to transform now. Perodua has been aggressive in reducing prices because it reduces operation costs," he said.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Toyota starts production at Gateway 2 plant

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

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thailand invites VW to build eco-cars in Kingdom


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

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

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

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

Klingler said Volkswagen was interested in expanding its investments in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, which offers attractive business potential.

Volkswagen is confident in the investment climate offered by Thailand the rapidly growing Thai automotive industry amid the vast business potentials in this region, he added.

Industry Ministry finalising eco-car project policy


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

PROTON launches Suprima S

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We are happy to have scheduled a tour and meeting at The Bentley Library and The Automotive Research Center (ARC),
Ann Arbor, MI, Saturday, September 28, 2013. Our hosts will be Mr. Leonard Coombs/Principal Archivist/Bentley Library and Anna Stefanopoulou/Professor of Mechanical Engineering/Automotive Research Center Director.
The Bentley Library has automotive research materials as well as many wonderful surprises in their archives. The ARC is fascinating and it will be an honor to be taken on a tour. Take a look at both of the websites.
The Flyer has been attached as well as directions. The flyer when printed will be like a booklet (2-up/2sided). If you cannot print it let me know and I'll U.S. mail it to you.
Any questions please let me know asap.
***Update: 2013 membership ***we currently have 28 paid 2013 members (12 are NEW members to the Leland Chapter)***
Victoria Mobley
SAH/Leland - Secretary / Treasurer
John Jos Jendza III/Top Hat John - Director
Jim Petersen - Associate Director
Society of Automotive Historians/Leland Chapter
Tour / Gathering / Meeting
Saturday, September 28, 2013
11:00 am  – 3:30 pm
v     Bentley Historical Library
v     Automotive Research Center
 * * * *
Bentley Historical Library
University of Michigan
1150 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Automotive Research Center (ARC)
1231 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
*** * *
RSVP to Victoria Mobley by September 23, 2013 or 586-246-0312
$10.00/per person includes Lunch, Tours, Donation to Library

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thai auto sales drop 25% in July 2013

Thailand Automotive Industry Statistics - July 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Car exports accounted for 99.07% of the total for-export production output, showing a strong demand in overseas markets. Export value was up 6.05% from the same period last year to stand at 280.27 billion baht.

Vehicle output in July stood at 201,446 units, down 6.45% on July 2012 and a decline of 7.21% on June. Output over the first seven months of the year amounted to 1,542,405 units, an increase of 20.82% on the same period last year.

Mr Surapong projected car output over the next three months (Aug-Oct) at 618,619 units, down 4.89% on the 650,445 units actual output from May to July 2013, and a decline of 11.52% on 699,155 units actual output from August to October 2012.

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

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

Check out the whole story here.

VW Plant Indonesia...

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

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

Listen to this month’s conversation on car service tips with Kent and the Colonel. They are talking coolant systems, tires, batteries and cabin air filters. You will learn things like why rotating your tires is so important to the wear of your tire. And, did you know if you buy tires from Kent Rylee, they will rotate your tires for free. They are also talking coolant service. Because it has not been overly hot this summer, many of you may have neglected your cooling systems. As we get into fall and winter antifreeze is the issue to make sure your water in your car does not freeze up. Learn when to check this and more. In this interview, Kent offers a monthly service special on a coolant service that you will want to make sure you know about. He also discusses the importance of cabin air filters and when to change them. Also, get a free battery test and print out any time you service with Kent Rylee. Take a listen and learn how to care for your car!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bill Porter / Ninth Annual Concours d'Elegance of Southwest Michigan, August 9 & 10, 2013
submitted by SAH/Leland Member Charlie Henry

Happiness is blue skies, great cars and Bill Porter at the Ninth Annual Concours d'Elegance of Southwest Michigan. The August 9 and 10 event honored Bill as its Featured Designer.

On Friday the 9th, show entrants enjoyed a reception, buffet dinner and an opportunity to meet and talk with Bill. After dinner, he reviewed the history of automotive design in a slide presentation entitled “Bombs and Fins.”

As part of the Saturday concours, show cars paraded before the spectators. The emcee, Ed Lucas, introduced each car and provided background information. Bill then described design features and explained their importance to the automotive industry and trade. During the award presentations, as the winners again passed in review, Bill expanded his commentary on design and style.
Proceeds from the Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan benefit Hospice at Home, a local non-profit organization. Hospice at Home provides care to those in need of medical care, but with limited means to pay. The available services include health and wellness training, caregiver classes, grief counseling and pre-hospice programs

Photos of Bill Porter at the concours.
5980 – Title slide of his presentation
5983 – Wound up and steaming all ahead
6018 – With Ed Lucas at the announcer’s table
6024 – Commenting on features of cars passing in review
6026 – Ditto

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Auto industry faces crossroads ahead of ASEAN trade pact

Via VietNamNet

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

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

The last chance

It has been 20 years since foreign car makers first built factories in Viet Nam. In spite of a long history of Government investment, Viet Nam's auto industry faces significant hurdles.
Under the new agreement, the country has only five years to develop its auto industry to compete with an impending influx of imports after 2018.
"The situation shows that it would be a chance to develop the local auto industry, but if we miss this chance, Viet Nam will be the auto import market," a representative from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a recent conference.
There are currently 18 auto makers that belong to the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA). Approximately 30 others have a combined investment of over US$1 billion and an output over 200,000 cars per year.
According to the Industry and Trade Ministry's report, the local auto industry is behind on most of its targets.
While the target for local diesel production was set to reach 100,000 units by 2010, Truong Hai is the only company to invest in a diesel factory which will begin production in 2014.
As many as 100,000 gearboxes and 100,000 transmission systems were forecast for production in 2010. No investment has been made.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam plays host to only 210 auto parts manufacturers, one fifth of Indonesia's production base and one fifteenth of Thailand's.
Adding insult to injury, most of these companies produce simple and low technology products with low local contents.
According to the General Director of Toyota Viet Nam, Yoshihisa Maruta, a long term development plan, stable policies and greater incentives for auto makers would provide a necessary boost to Viet Nam's auto industry.
The GM Viet Nam General Director, Guarav Gupta, called on the Government to develop a detailed plan to support the local auto industry and boost investor confidence.

Detailed plan needed

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has revised the auto industry master plan in a bid to save the auto industry.
The Viet Nam Automobile Development Plan, which looks as far as 2020, classifies market opportunities to help producers meet the demands of market segments. The plan aligns with current development plans to revolutionise the manufacturing sector, according to Tran Tuan Anh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.
Anh said the Ministry has added three "breaking" solutions to the revised plan, including stable policies for the auto industry, producing environmentally-friendly vehicles and creating favourable conditions for car makers.
According to the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), domestic auto sales exceeded 49,800 units in the first half of this year, up 16 per cent on 2012 figures.
Car and truck sales grew 22 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, from 2012.
VAMA forecasts indicate sales will reach 112,000 units after a proposed 10-12 per cent cut in auto registration fees.
Source: VNS

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


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

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

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

Read the full text here

Monday, August 5, 2013

As many of you know, NAPA actively supports the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  In an effort to help promote this charity a series of inspirational videos were produced and this blog post highlights one of those videos.  Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions is proud to be a part of the NAPA family and their quest to help this incredible organization.  Watch Lt. Pete Scobell explain in a YouTube video the unseen injuries he sustained as a Navy SEAL.

I couldn’t read emails, let alone write them. My wife would ask me to run to the grocery store and I would find myself sitting in the parking lot at work. I was taking six Excedrin a day in order to cope with my headaches. The herniated discs in my neck would keep me up all night unless I drank myself to sleep. I was exhausted all the time but unable to sleep. My absent mindedness was causing fight after fight with my wife, and in our final culminating battle before checking into NICoE, my wife said to me, “I hope you have PTSD, because if you don’t, I married the biggest a**hole in the world.”-Lt. Pete Scobell, former U.S. Navy SEAL
That may sound a little funny, but it’s difficult to read Scobell’s words without becoming emotional. He—and thousands of soldiers like him—have made tremendous sacrifices in their service. So have their families. And they depend on organizations like Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to help them to recover so they can free themselves of the pain and injury of the wounds of war.
KNOW HOW to care
NAPA is committed to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and its work to help heal soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and TBI. With your help, we raised more than $350,000 last year for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This year, our goal is even loftier. We want to help the fund with $1 million in donations. We need you to help us get there.
You can help in several ways. Through our “Get Back and Give Back” campaign, you can redeem a $25 rebate for any battery, alternator or starter you buy at a Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions. Each time a customer redeems a rebate, NAPA will donate $1 to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. You can also elect to donate $10 of your rebate to the fund, or just make a donation by text message: simply text “NAPA” to 27722.
Racing fans will notice a special Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund paint scheme on NAPA Racing cars this month. Both Martin Truex Jr.’s NAPA Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Ron Capps‘ NAPA Dodge Charger Funny Car in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series are supporting the efforts. Make a donation, and encourage your racing fan friends and family to do the same.
Your help will make a difference in the lives of soldiers and their families.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Feeling Lucky? Don't.

A FREE 3-minute electrical check at Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions beats being stuck on the side of the road for hours.  It is easy to make sure your electrical system is good to go at Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions.  Our ASE ceritified technicians test your alternator, starter and battery with state-of-the-art equipment for FREE.  So, why have your electrical components checked?  For one, determining the true cause of any electrical issue begins with testing the condition of the battery.  This can help avoid replacing other components that may be in good working order!  Having your alternator checked can insure it is in good working condition and prevent it draining charge from your battery, which can cause lights to dim and even erratic engine operation.  And, checking your starter is always a good idea since it often fails without any warning.  Having it tested is the only way to insure it is in working order.  Stop by Kent Rylee today and take advantage of our FREE electrical check offer now through August 31st, 2013.  Better safe than stranded, that's our recommendation!   

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kent Rylee, owner of Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions, talks to Kermit Womack with KURM radio about the Kent Rylee NAPA Auto Care Facility in Rogers.  Do you know about the NAPA Peace-of-Mind Warranty on parts and labor or the NAPA Easy Pay Credit Card?  Would you like to be able to see a video that shows you exactly what is wrong with your vehicle?  Why should you care if your auto repair shop has ASE certified techs and proper diagnostic tools?  Are you in need of a diesel tech?  Would you like easy access to all of your vehicle’s service records?….find out about these topics and more as you listen to this interview.   Click below to download the interview.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

AFG Meeting with Chaiyant Savanachai / Borgwarner

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

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

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

Dr. Chaiyant Savanachai from BorgWarner Thailand.

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

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

He proudly pointed out that the Vision for BorgWarner was to be the global technology leader in powertrain solutions.  Their results in 2012 included 7.18 billion dollars in sales, with 19,100 employees in 57 locations in 19 countries.  Their products covered transmissions, engines and driveline systems, with engines covering 68 percent of sales and powertrains 32 percent of sales.  The market drivers for BorgWarner being fuel economy, emissions and performance.

With engine development going towards down-sizing, turbocharging has become important to produce power, and at the same time produce up to 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption.

Interestingly, he pointed out that China and India are still relying on low technology, while the rest of the western world is heading towards hybrids and energy saving.  Electric supercharging is on its way, with electronic wastegate actuators and exotic materials to be used in turbine wheels.

Dr Chaiyant’s talk was dotted with humorous interludes, where he said that the only copying the firm had to do was to copy themselves!  He also showed slides of the Indy 500 trophy given each year by his company, standing the height of a man, which required a new plinth, to add more winner’s names, as BorgWarner had been donating the trophy for every year since inception.

After the address, the AFG members went on to a networking session with snacks and drinks at the Amari’s ICE BAR.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Is your vehicle ready for summer? Now through August 31, visit Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions— your local participating NAPA AutoCare Center in Rogers, AR — to GET BACK and GIVE BACK with tough, reliable NAPA batteries, alternators and starters. You’ll GET BACK with mail-in rebates of $5 to $25 on qualifying products installed. Plus, when you redeem your rebate, you’ll GIVE BACK. NAPA will donate $1 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to support U.S. military families. Get all the details — and save now at Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions at 2100 S. 8th Street in Rogers! Call Rick or Clay at 636-3333 or go to to schedule your appointment today. Mention you saw this post on our Blog and get a FREE Battery Check. You can also GIVE BACK on your own from your phone. Text NAPA to 27722 to donate $10 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund*. *$10 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 27722 to STOP. Text HELP to 27722 for HELP. Full terms: Privacy Policy: Offers good July 1-August 31,2013.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

SAH/Leland at Roush Automotive Collection / A Special Cruise Night & Meeting

Henry M Leland Chapter
A Special Cruise Night
 *Open by Invitation & Reservation Only*
 Rain or Shine
 Special Parking for Collector Cars                                         
DATE:       Tuesday, June 4, 2013
TIME:          5pm - 8pm
Doors open at 4:30pm
PLACE:         The Roush Automotive Collection
 11851 Market Street, Livonia, MI 48150
FEE:                 $10/PER PERSON
Includes Tour, Food, Dessert, Soda
Door Prize Raffle Ticket (must be present to win)
 *RSVP by June 1, 2013 to: Victoria Mobley* or 586.246.0312

The Roush Automotive Collection, located in the Detroit
Metropolitan area, is a 30,000 sq. ft. private facility.
Housed within the collection are a wide variety of displays,
multi-media exhibits, artifacts, memorabilia and 110+ vehicles.

The collection contains educational exhibits of products and
processes from Roush Enterprises as a supplier of
technological services to the automotive industry, aviation
industry and other manufactured goods businesses.

Roush Racing is represented in the collection through
the preservation of race cars, trophies, team equipment,
photographs and other artifacts signifying over 40 years
of motor sports achievements.
















Monday, May 27, 2013

Benz Thonglor orders shift into overdrive this year

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mercedes-Benz sales volume through authorised dealerships across the country this year could reach 7,000 to 7,500 units, said a source who requested anonymity.

The carmaker's sales volume through dealers rose 34% in 2012 year-on-year to 6,274 units.

The National Economic and Social Development Board reported a lower first-quarter GDP than expected, at 5.3% year-on-year, weighed down by slowing domestic consumption and investment.

Monday, May 20, 2013

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

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

Shown in photo: Mr. David Nardone (5th from left) , President & CEO of Hemaraj Land And Development Plc. exchanges contract with Mr. Nopadol Chiaravanont, (5th from right) Director of SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd. while Mr. Wu Huan, (4th from right) President of SAIC Motor-CP Co., Ltd., Mr. Sawasdi Horrungruang (center), Director of Hemaraj Land And Development Plc., Mr. Vivat Jiratikarnsakul, (4th from left) Hemaraj’s Executive Vice President and management of both companies look on.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

With 40 players and 10 teams, the inaugural Automotive Focus Group (AFG) Golf Day at the Pattana golf course even surprised the organizers with the depth of support for this event.

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

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

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

Runners-up were the team comprising Sean Goonan (AB World Foods Asia Ltd.), Brendan Daly (Amari Hotel), Richard Jackson (RLC Co. Ltd.) and Branislav Balaz (KONE Public Co. Ltd.)

The Longest Drive award went to Peter Hamilton (Nestle) and the Nearest the Pin prize to Bic Gohil from the Ford Thailand Manufacturing Assembly Plant (FTM).

The big winner in the charity raffle was Manita Boontham (CES) who won a 3-days/ 2-nights stay at the JW Marriott Kao Lak.

(courtesy DOC IAIN CORNESS - Pattaya Mail)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tata postpones new Thailand factory

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

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thai Automotive Sales Statistics April 2013

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

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

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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

FTI to revise export forecast

Bangkok Post:

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

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

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

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

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

Thailand's automotive industry enjoyed a bumper year in 2012, with 2.45 million vehicles made, up by 68.3% from 2011 and lifting Thailand to 10th place among car producing countries. Domestic car sales totalled 1.43 million vehicles last year, up by 80.9%, while motorcycle sales rose by 6.11% to 2.13 million. Car exports increased by 39.6% to 1,026,671 units, a record high since Thailand began exporting cars in 1988 and making the country the world's seventh-largest car exporter. Export value totalled 490 billion baht, up by 42.7%.

The FTI forecasts 2.5 million vehicles will be produced this year, up by 2% from last year, with 1.4 million slated for domestic sales.

The FTI originally projected car exports to fetch the country 527 billion baht, but this was based on sales totalling US$17 billion at an exchange rate of 31 baht to the dollar.

For the entire automotive industry including parts shipments, exports were estimated at 887 billion baht, with parts alone accounting for 360 billion.

Last year, the overall industry generated export revenue of 710 billion baht including 220 billion from auto parts.

"Both cars and auto parts are expected to see export sales drop by 6% if the baht keeps hovering around 29 to the dollar this year," said Mr Surapong.

Takayuki Kimura, the president of Nissan Motor (Thailand), said currency risk is also prompting his company to evaluate its export value target.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toyota Yaris production to be moved to Indonesia...

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

Read the article on THECARDRIVING here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Asahi Tec chooses Laos ahead of Thailand

Via Bangkok Post: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMM Asahi Tec plans to sell aluminium die casting parts in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia based on skills cultivated mainly at ATC Japan.

Construction of the factory is due to start next month, with operations starting in the third quarter of 2014.

The factory is expected to employ 376 workers, mostly from Laos and Vietnam, including engineering experts from Japan and Thailand.

Sales are estimated to reach about 1.5 billion baht a year.

The plant's manufacturing capacity will be about 610 tonnes per month in the first phase, rising to 1,000 tonnes by the end of 2014. With its output from its plant in Samut Prakan's Bang Bo district, its manufacturing capacity of aluminium parts will reach 1,800 tonnes a month.

"Aluminium parts produced in Laos will be exported to car makers in Thailand," said Mr Irimajiri.

Phishith Banyadith, president of the BMM Group, said the Savan-Seno zone has an exemption from corporate income tax for 12 years and a cut in income tax from 30% to 5% for foreign workers.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Car makers may help to fund testing centre

via Bangkok Post

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Attention car lovers! It's almost here. On April 13th, 2013, Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions, your Go-To-Guys for everything automotive, is having their Annual Spring Car show at their Rogers store on 71B between New Hope and Pleasant Grove Roads (2100 S. 8th Street Rogers, AR). Kent Rylee Automotive solutions will have prizes for, Best of Show, Best Pre sixty, best 60 to present, best rat rod, best project, best low rider and much more! Registration begins 8am. Win a big screen TV; enter 50/50 and enjoy food and drinks and DJ by BlackDog Entertainment with proceeds benefiting The Lion's Club Of Rogers. For more info go to and click the events tab. A preregistration form can be found there too! First 100 Car Show registrants receive a goody bag. Also, new this year we have added an Automotive Swap Meet. Do you have car parts from a restoration project lying around? Are you cleaning out your garage of old car parts and related items? Have you considered getting into the old car hobby? Do you have a car related business with lots of auto stuff you want to get rid of and turn into cash? If so, then you should become a vendor at the Kent Rylee Automotive Swap Meet. 10 x10 Booth space is only $25, extra booth only $15 and all proceeds benefit the Lion's Club of Rogers. Anybody with car parts and/or auto-related items for sale can participate - businesses, hobbyists and garage cleaners are all welcome! For more info on the Swap Meet contact or call 479-636-3333.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mitsubishi Thailand Capacity Increase


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

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

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

The current annual capacity is 460,000 vehicles. Thailand has been promoted by the parent company as one of Mitsubishi's significant global markets as part of its international strategy, and the target is to achieve 3 million units in accumulated Thai exports within the next three to four years. He said the company's decision to transfer some of its R&D units to Thailand had been taken because it wanted to increase the number of local and Japanese engineers in Thailand's R&D department from the current 40 to about 120 within the next two years.

The group will also increase its investment in R&D equipment and testing tracks in the Kingdom. Masuko listed three missions for the local R&D unit: a commitment to develop the quality of any Mitsubishi vehicle produced in Thailand to quickly serve the demand and requirements of Thai consumers; increasing the role of the R&D unit so that it has the ability to develop minor-change models by itself; and conducting its own survey about market and technology trends within Asean to serve the upcoming AEC. Mitsubishi first invested in auto production in Thailand in 1988, and became the first auto-maker to export Thai-made vehicles worldwide.

Another milestone was reached last month, when the company shipped its 2 millionth Thai-made export.

These landmarks reflect the global standard and high-quality vehicle production which made Mitsubishi decide to strengthen its R&D function in Thailand, said the company chief. Mitsubishi Motors Thailand's 2-million export achievement is a mix of completely built-up (CBU) and completely knocked-down (CKD) vehicles.

The approximately 1.7 million CBUs exported were made up of 1,436,146 one-tonne pickups (Strada, L200 and Triton models), 181,464 Pajero Sport passenger pick-up vehicles, and 95,726 passenger cars (Lancer and Mirage models). About 300,000 CKD sets were exported.

The CBUs were mainly shipped to other Asean countries, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Australia.

The CKDs, largely pickups, were mainly exported to Latin America.

Throughout the 25 years that Mitsubishi Motors Thailand has exported vehicles to more than 140 countries, local production standards and Thai technicians' skills have been accepted and trusted, Masuko added.

The company has three production plants and an engine plant at Leam Chabang Industrial Estate in Chon Buri, which is Mitsubishi's first priority business unit outside Japan. It is second only to the Mizushima plant in Japan in terms of capacity, but is the group's top performer in terms of production utilisation.

Last year, Mitsubishi invested Bt16 billion to establish its third production plant in Thailand, the focus of the new facility being to produce small cars under its "Global Small" project, which is also in line with the Thai government's "Eco Car" project. The local company commenced production of the Mitsubishi Mirage at the plant with an initial capacity of 150,000 units annually. The plan is to expand the capacity to 200,000 cars by the end of this year and make Thailand the group's production hub for small cars.

The policy to strengthen R&D in Thailand shows the high level of confidence Mitsubishi has in the local unit and the Thai engineering team, Masuko said. The Thai R&D branch is the group's first R&D operation in Asia, outside Japan.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Suzuki Thailand Capacity Increase

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

Monday, March 11, 2013

Now’s a great time to protect your vehicle’s engine, improve vehicle performance and freshen up the air inside your vehicle. Plus, now through March 31, you’ll save money doing it at Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions— your participating NAPA AutoCare Center. Save $13 on an Oil and Filter Change Instantly when you have a NAPA Gold Air Filter or EnviroShield Cabin Air Filter installed at the same time. Or save $5 instantly on your Oil and Filter Change when you have a NAPA ProSelect Air Filter or NAPA ProSelect Cabin Air Filter installed. Make your appointment today at Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions just off 71B between New Hope and Pleasant Grove Roads in Rogers, AR!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thai-EU FTA deal within two years

Via Bangkok Post:

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

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

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

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

"Most importantly, the government will maintain open access for representatives of the public to voice their concerns before and after each round of negotiation to ensure all sides have the same understanding of the issues involved," he said.

While the FTA will ensure free flow of goods and services, the Thai delegation also wooed foreign investment to Thailand, convinced that the Bt2-trillion infrastructure investment will bolster Thailand's competitiveness.

The first meeting between the Thai-EU trade delegation is scheduled for May in Brussels, with Bangkok hosting the subsequent meeting; there will be at least one meeting each quarter hosted alternately by the two sides. Kittiratt expects the negotiations to take a little more than a year to conclude the trade talks.

Yingluck yesterday had discussions with European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

According to Olarn who said he received and reviewed written concerns, the Thai FTA delegation will start off the discussions with Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EU Commission.

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said permanent secretaries of all related ministries will join the negotiating team.

Thailand's exports to the EU will enjoy lower taxes under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) until 2015. If the FTA can be concluded then, there should be no impact on Thailand's export, he said.

Both Thailand and the EU have pushed hard for the bilateral agreement, believed to boost bilateral trade and investment. The Thai-EU Business Council warned recently that Thailand would see its gross domestic product stunted by 1.2 per cent if it does not sign a free-trade agreement (FTA) by 2015 when the European Union's tax breaks expire.

Thailand has bilateral agreements with Australia, India, New Zealand and Peru, while also being a part of the Asean-China FTA. According to the Foreign Trade Department, Thai exports under FTAs were worth US$41.7 billion last year, rising 4.41 per cent from $39.94 billion in 2011.