Friday June 25, 2010
Ford plans first 100% owned plant in Thailand
BANGKOK: Ford Motor Co yesterday announced a US$450mil investment in Thailand to build a new manufacturing plant, with the bulk of the output destined for export markets as part of its expansion in Asia Pacific.
The plant in the eastern province of Rayong would build Ford Focus passenger cars from 2012 but have the flexibility to produce a diversified range of vehicles in the future.
“Our new, highly flexible plant is the latest proof point in our aggressive expansion strategy in the Asia Pacific and Africa region,” Joe Hinrichs, who heads Ford’s operations in those regions, told a news conference.
“It certainly affirms the vital role that Thailand has and will continue to play as a global production and export base for Ford Motor Co.”
The 750,000 sq m assembly plant will have initial capacity of 150,000 units a year and up to 85% of its production will be for markets outside Thailand. It will be the first plant in Thailand to be 100% owned by Ford.
“This is game-changing and significant for Ford. We are looking forward to developing a more successful relationship in Thailand,” said Peter Fleet, Ford’s Asean president.
Asia was expected to account for roughly 40% of growth in the auto industry over the next five to seven years, Fleet said.
Ford said it would buy up to US$800mil of Thai components each year and the plant could create up to 11,000 new jobs. — Reuters