In response to the Thailand government's drive to promote the production of eco-friendly cars, Suzuki Motor has announced that it will begin construction of its plant in Rayong next week. This development further cements Thailand's role as a Southeast Asia vehicle-manufacturing hub.
Suzuki plans to invest JPY20 billion (US$225 million) for the construction of the plant that will have facilities for pressing, welding, painting, assembly and engine production. Production of the 1.3-liter cars is scheduled to start in March 2012.
Suzuki expects that by the end of 2012, a total of 10,000 units of the new V-platform small car (known as the Micra in Europe and the March in Japan) will be rolled out. And it isn´t just Suzuki that has heeded Thailand's call. Toyota has announced plans to start petrol-electric hybrid production in Thailand.
Last July, Ford and Mazda opened a $537 million auto plant in Rayong, to produce the Fiesta and Mazda 2 through their AutoAlliance Thailand venture.
The facility has the capacity to produce 100,000 cars each year. It joins a 175,000-unit-capacity pick-up truck plant already operated by AutoAlliance in Thailand.