To take advantage of the rapidly growing Asian markets, Ford Motor Co. has plans to construct a $450 million passenger vehicle assembly plant in Thailand by 2012.
In a statement, Ford said that this factory, which will be located in the city of Rayong, will be able to produce 150,000 vehicles annually. Up to 85% of the vehicles that roll out of this factory will be exported outside of Thailand.
The initial product is slated to be the next-generation Ford Focus. Joe Hinrichs, who heads Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said that this investment underscores [the company's] long-term commitment to Thailand, and its role as a global production and export hub.
This plant in Rayong will actually be the second plant that Ford has built in Thailand.
The first one is located only three miles away and is jointly operated with Mazda Motor Corp. The first factory produces the Mazda2 small car, the Ford Everest SUV, and the Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger pickups.
The venture, which is dubbed as the Auto Alliance in Thailand, can produce 220,000 units annually. In comparison, Ford's beachheads in Europe and Latin America are bigger. Hinrichs said that Ford expects to derive much profit from Asia.