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Posts Tagged ‘thailand’

Mazda and Ford Invest in Autoalliance

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

Mazda Motor Corporation and Ford Motor Company has announced an additional investment of US$27 million (approximately THB 837 million) in their AutoAlliance (Thailand) (AAT) joint venture to upgrade production equipment and increase utility production capacity by 20,000 units per year. AAT produces the All-New Mazda BT-50 and All-New Ford Ranger pickup trucks for the Thai domestic market and export markets around the world including Australia. The new investment will include facility upgrades such as additional robotic equipment and tooling to help increase line speed and output. The new capacity will come into effect starting next month. The additional 20,000 units bring the total annual capacity of AAT’s utility line to 140,000 units (195,000 units when including CKD), bringing overall capacity of AAT to 240,000 units (295,000 units when including CKD) per year, including the passenger car line. This latest investment increases Mazda and Ford’s total joint investment in the AAT facility to nearly US$2 billion (THB 62 billion) since operations began in 1995. In 2010, the two companies jointly-invested US$350 million (THB10.8 billion) in support of facility upgrades and supplier tooling to enable production of the All-New Mazda BT-50 and All-New Ford Ranger utilities. “This additional AAT investment is part of the strategic business partnership between Ford and Mazda,” said Yuji Nakamine, Senior Managing Executive Director of Mazda Motor Corporation. “Additionally, it allows us to continue to meet exceptionally strong demand for our All-New BT-50.” “This new investment reinforces Ford Motor Company’s long-term commitment to Thailand as a global production and export hub, and will allow us to meet the extraordinary demand for the all-new Ford Ranger,” said Peter Fleet, president, Ford ASEAN. AutoAlliance (Thailand), one of the most modern automotive manufacturing facilities in Thailand, has helped to set the standard for automotive manufacturing in the ASEAN region through its ongoing commitment to world-class quality, standards and cost-competitiveness. In addition to the Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger utilities, AAT produces the Ford Everest SUV, and passenger vehicles such as Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 (known in Japan as Demio) and Mazda3 (known in Japan as Axela) for sale in Thailand and for export to ASEAN and other markets. Mazda2 and Mazda3 vehicles for the Australian market are produced in Japan.

Thailand Production of Mirage Begins

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s (MMC) all-new global compact car, the Mirage, has started on the assembly line in Thailand. Mitsubishi Motors Thailand’s (MMTh), Laem Chabang Plant, held a commemorative line-off ceremony at the Plant with MMC President Mr. Osamu Masuko and honoured guests in attendance. The Mirage is a “global compact car” designed to satisfy both demand for an entry-level car in fast-growing emerging markets and demand for eco-conscious models offering superior environmental performance in advanced markets. The Mirage will be produced at a brand-new third factory at MMTh’s Laem Chabang Plant; the largest MMC plant and export hub outside of Japan. The Mirage went on sale on March 28 in Thailand, and will be followed by other ASEAN countries, Japan, Europe, then expand to other markets successively. The Mirage will arrive in the Australian market in early 2013. “There is no doubt that MMTh has become one of MMC’s major production hubs”,said President Masuko. “As the Laem Chabang Plant has started production of the Mirage, it is important to maintain the same level of high quality offered by vehicles produced at plants in Japan. To ensure this, MMC has stationed Japanese inspection experts at the plant to inspect 100 per cent of the vehicles before they are shipped as well as train local inspectors; building a top-level quality control system. “I believe that the new Mirage is a highly competitive model which will be widely accepted in markets all over the world. We have high hopes that this global strategic model, the new Mirage, will play a big role in further growth of our company.” The Mirage is a hot seller in Thailand already; to date more than 15,000 orders have been received for it. MMC announced its JUMP 2013 three-year business plan in January of 2011, and one of the pillars of the plan calls for putting operating resources into emerging markets. Among “emerging markets,” MMC puts particular emphasis on strengthening its operating base in the ASEAN region. The production and worldwide export of the Mirage from Thailand is an important tactic that embodies this strategy and MMC will continue to aggressively bolster its operations in high-potential emerging markets.  

HiLux Stock Back to Normal

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

The floods in Thailand affected the country in so many ways. People lost so much with rising waters but it was not only Thailand that suffered losses. A number of car makers suffered and it has taken till now to resume stock levels in Australia to normal. Toyota’s HiLux has resumed its best-seller status in Australia when stock arrived back to normal for the first time since last year’s Thailand floods halted production. HiLux 4×2 and 4×4 were the top-selling vehicles in their respective segments last month with combined sales of more than 3,500 vehicles. This was more than three times the January total, well above twice the December figure and up 57 per cent compared with February. March was the best month for HiLux since the same month in 2011 when Japan was hit by a deadly tsunami that also disrupted HiLux production. With shipments now back to normal levels, the resurgent HiLux helped lift Toyota Australia’s overall total sales in March to 18461 vehicles – 81 per cent more than its nearest rival. Camry sales, including the new-generation petrol and hybrid models – were up by 42.8 per cent over the same month last year. Other double-digit percentage improvers compared with March 2011 were FJ Cruiser, Prius, Yaris and LandCruiser 200 Series. Yaris was the best-selling compact car with sales up 20 per cent compared with the same month a year ago. LandCruiser 200 Series recorded a March-on-March sales increase of 37.8 per cent. Toyota Australia’s executive vice president David Buttner said Toyota and its dealers were working overtime to get the popular HiLux to customers as quickly as possible. “We understand the importance of HiLux to businesses and to individual customers, whether it’s being bought for workhorse or family duties, or both,” Mr Buttner said. “I would like to thank all our HiLux customers for their understanding and patience as well as the remarkable loyalty they have shown,” Mr Buttner said.

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