Published on 22/11/2013
TRU plans new truck plant
Thai Rung Union Car Plc (TRU), an SET-listed vehicle assembler and auto parts maker, will build its third factory in Rayong next year, says managing director Sompong Phaoenchoke. The 500-million-baht facility is due to operate by the end of next year, producing auto bodies for commercial trucks under a joint venture with a Japanese truck maker. "The new investment plan will be disclosed in next year's first quarter, but production will be determined by domestic demand for trucks," said Mr Sompong. TRU and its Japanese partner see strong growth potential in commercial trucks, with Thai production up by 15% year-on-year to 61,611 units in the first nine months. Last year, 60,526 commercial trucks were sold in Thailand, a rise of 55.6%. Demand for trucks will be spurred by government spending, both its 2-trillionbaht megaprojects and 350-billion-baht water management initiatives. In August, TRU shelved a 500-million-baht investment plan for a new painting plant at Rayong's Amata City Industrial Park, citing sluggish demand in the local auto market. The company must still decide on that facility. But TRU is confident Thailand's car production will hit 3 million vehicles by 2015, said Mr Sompong. TRU spent 200 million baht last year to expand capacity at its plant in Bangkok's Nong Khaem district. At its Bangkok and Rayong factories, the company is already at 85-90% of capacity, producing 60,000 vehicles a year, and production is expected to reach full capacity by year-end.
In its financial forecasts, having earlier predicted a 15% revenue rise, TRU now expects between 3.7 and 3.8 billion baht this year, the same as last year. Last year's total of 3.78 billion baht was up by 67% for a net profit of 556 million, a 199% improvement. Over the first nine months of 2013, TRU achieved revenue at 2.67 billion baht, up by 3% year-on-year. But net profit slipped to 322 million, down by 16%. In 2014, TRU is targeting a 6-8% rise in revenue, said Mr Sompong. Shares of TRU closed unchanged yesterday on the SET at 6.75 baht, in light trade worth 973,000 baht.