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 www.kentrylee.com 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 stephanie@kentrylee.com or call 479-636-3333.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mitsubishi Thailand Capacity Increase


[via THE NATION]

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.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Indonesia on the road to overtaking Thailand

Attention grabbing headline and interesting story from via The Australian:

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

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

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

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

Indonesia also boasts the most active volcanoes in ASEAN
Less innovatively, Mr Combet's headline task for Mr Angove is getting local fleet managers to buy more local vehicles. His focus should be assisting Australian suppliers to escape the orbit of a fading industry that builds 220,000 units annually to engage with the vastly larger and growing Southeast Asian auto sector.

Indonesia and Thailand produced more than a million vehicles for their domestic markets for the first time last year but the Thais are still far ahead in quality, quantity and value to the national economy.

However, Indonesia has the advantage of potentially greater domestic scale, international makers keen to commit, a ready-made export opportunity and -- if planners care to study the Thai industry -- a successful development model.

The Indonesian vehicle sector had a break-out 2012, but Thailand's was astonishing. A supply and demand rebound following the destructive flooding of late 2011, coinciding with a rare lengthy stretch of political stability, and especially a government rebate to first buyers lifted domestic sales 81 per cent to 1.44 million.

Because of hot domestic demand, exports at almost one million units undershot projections, but overall Thai production rose 68 per cent to 2.45 million vehicles.

Although about half the vehicles ordered under the rebate scheme are being delivered in the first half of this year, and exports should firm, analysts expect domestic sales to fall this year to 1.2 million.

Almost 1.12 million new vehicles came on to the Indonesian market last year, which grew 25 per cent, and more than 250,000 units were exported.

Export volumes were up 40 per cent last year, driven by other developing markets' interest in the low-cost "mini-MPV", the trademark Indonesian vehicle.

GM is returning to Indonesian manufacturing, after an eight-year break, with a Chevrolet mini-MPV, manufactured in Brazil but designed, the company says, for Indonesian conditions.

With a base market of about 50 million discretionary spenders expected to double inside the next decade, Indonesia has domestic scale to underpin high volume vehicle exports.

The government is trying to accentuate the potential through the so-called Low Cost Green Cars program, which would remove or partly rebate the luxury tax applying to all new private vehicles.

The scheme was announced last year with four Japanese carmakers -- Toyota (which has 36 per cent of the domestic market), Daihatsu, Suzuki and Honda -- immediately committing.

Nissan has since said it would revive the Datsun brand to build low-cost green vehicles for Indonesia, India and Russia. But 12 months after Industry Minister MS Hidayat unveiled the LCGC plan, and almost three months after it was planned to come into effect, the government hasn't settled the parameters: what levels of tax relief, what minimum fuel efficiency, what qualifying price range.

Indonesia is becoming an important car market. But, then again, Brazil and Mexico already are; it's almost an automatic function of demographics and development.

Whether Indonesia also becomes a significant component of the global manufacturing chain depends to an important extent on carefully focused planning, regulation and incentives.

That is where Bangkok's industrial policymakers have proved adept and where Jakarta's are notoriously deficient.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


The planned expansion of the 110-kilometre road motorway linking Thailand to the proposed Dawei deep-sea port project in Myanmar has been postponed.

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