Published on 27th of August 2010
Ford, Mazda pledge $350m for expansion Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Corporation are investing US$350 million in their 50:50 joint venture in Thailand to support the production of the next generation of pickup trucks. The investment in the plant of AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) in Rayong will enable production of the new Mazda and Ford compact pickups to start in mid-2011. The companies said the investment would support facility upgrades and supplier tooling. It would lift Ford and Mazda's total joint investment in AAT to $1.85 billion since it began in 1995. "The new investment marks another important step forward in AAT's development as a manufacturing hub," said Toshinori Kusuhashi, the president of AutoAlliance Thailand. "Through the ongoing support of the Thai government, Thailand's automotive industry has continued to grow and become more efficient, enabling AAT to build and export world-class pickups and cars. This investment will enable us to continue to enhance the one-ton pickup's reputation as product champion of Thailand's automotive industry." The investment will also include workforce training and development. "This new investment in AAT reinforces Ford Motor Company's long-term commitment to Thailand as a strategic manufacturing base for our global operations," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Motor Company for Asia-Pacific and Africa. "The new production line ... will raise the bar in flexibility, efficiency, quality and environmentally friendly production at AAT." AAT exports Ford and Mazda pickups to 130 markets. In July 2007, it celebrated one million units of production since manufacturing began in 1998.A new passenger car plant was opened in July 2009 and is currently producing the Mazda2 and Ford Fiesta for sale in Thailand as well as for export to Asean and other markets.