PublishedÂ onÂ 20/10/2010
1.8m local units likely in 2011 Automobile production next year is expected to reach its target of 1.8 million units if the economy is stable and the currency is not too volatile, says Vallop Tiasiri, director of the Thailand Automotive Institute. For this year, he said production was estimated at 1.65 million units, with a record 750,000 for the domestic market.If the domestic economy is stable and the global financial crisis fades, production might hit 2 million units next year, given the planned introduction of many new models such as eco-cars, he said. Mr Vallop added the strong baht had not affected automobile exports yet because orders were placed before the surge. But deals normally take shape in the fourth quarter, so for next year parent firms and distributors are adjusting in accordance with the economic situation. He played down the baht appreciation, saying the impact from the currency would be minor since 75% of Thailand's automobile exports are in Asia, while 12% are in the United States and South America, 8% in Europe and 4% in Africa. Since most currencies in Asia are going in the same direction as the baht, and the trend should remain that way, the baht's impact should be minimal, he said. The institute is currently developing its plan for 2012-16, which aims to develop 100 new manufacturing plants in addition to the existing 700 and increase the skills of 8,700 workers.
Published on 20/10/2010
"What we need to look at is the products coming after eco-cars. Apart from pickup trucks for commercial purposes and eco-cars for passengers, there might be a third pillar such as luxury cars or electric cars, where Thailand could be a base for production within the region," he said. Exports of auto parts this year are forecast at 400 billion baht, but the strong baht may dilute that figure once dollar values are converted. Parts exports for the first eight months were worth 250 billion baht.