Economy and Investment

Ford auto part strategy: Made in Thailand

by Duangkamol Buranasomphop

Ford auto part strategy:

            To export car & vehicles to other Asean countries without duties & taxes, Ford will use more auto parts made in Thailand. Ford plans to purchase up to US$800 million worth of parts annually from Thailand to supply its new $450-millionpassenger vehicle plant in Rayong. 

            The purchases do not include sourcing by Ford for Auto Alliance Thailand, its joint venture with Mazda. The $800 million in purchases will go to achieving 40% local Asean content, a requirement for automakers wanting to export the vehicles duty-free within the region. 

            Ford will hire 2,200 workers for the new manufacturing facility. The company claims an additional 8,800 indirect jobs will be created at dealers and suppliers.  The first 1,600 workers are already on site preparing for the start of production, scheduled for late next month.  Ford said it is the second-largest automotive investor in Thailand, with cumulative investment totaling more than $2.5 billion including the new Rayong plant. Since 2007, the company has been continually expanding its local operations, spending more than $1.5 billion. 

            "No other automotive manufacturer has invested more in Thailand over the last five years than Ford Motor. We are clearly here for the long run," said Peter Fleet, the president of Ford Asean.  Ford yesterday inaugurated the Ford Thailand Manufacturing Co (FTM) plant, which will be able to produce six types of vehicles simultaneously. 

            This will enable the company to bring new products to market faster and test new automobiles while maintaining output.  "This new flexible plant will help give us the capacity to realize our aggressive growth plans for the fast-growing Asean markets," said Mr Fleet.  The new plant, capable of building a diverse range of vehicles, will serve as the foundation for Ford's plan to introduce eight new global One Ford vehicles by mid-decade.

            Joe Hinrichs, the president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said Ford will launch 50 new vehicles and power trains in Asia Pacific and Africa by mid-decade. Mr Hinrichs said the FTM plant is Ford's second in Thailand and one of eight to open in Asia and Africa by 2015 tomeet demand in the coming years.  Along with China and India, Thailand serves as a key global production and export hub for Ford Motor. 

            The FTM plant will have an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, increasing Ford's local annual capacity to 445,000 units and making the company one of the largest vehicle producers and exporters in the country.  The new plant will next month start building the new Ford Focus, which is already being built at five other Ford facilities worldwide


Duangkamol Buranasomphop

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