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List of News and Information about thailand on 4WheelsNews.com

News and Information about thailand

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Volkswagen Group applies to set up first factory in Thailand

Volkswagen Group has filed an application to set up its first vehicle assembly site in Thailand as part of its plan to cut the lead of global rival Toyota Motor Corp. in Southeast Asia, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. VW is looking to avail of a government program that offers tax exemptions for carmakers investing at least THB6.5 billion ($200 million) in local manufacturing, the sources said.

To avail of the incentives, a carmaker must have annual production reach at least 100,000 cars in the fourth year after commencing operations, with manufacturing starting by 2019. The program by Thailand's Ministry of Industry includes vehicle assembly, components and engine production. Carmakers had until March 31 to apply.

Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler, told Bloomberg by phone that VW has been one of the carmakers trying to position itself globally. He noted that while current sales volumes in Southeast Asia are much smaller than in China or the United States, it is one of the regions where Japanese carmakers are ahead of VW, which means room for growth.

Read the entire article Volkswagen Group applies to set up first factory in Thailand

Ford starts production of EcoSport in Thailand facility

Ford Motor Co. has started producing the all-new Ford EcoSport urban sports utility vehicle at its state-of-the-art Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) plant in Rayong. FTM is the fourth plant globally to produce the EcoSport, following Ford sites in Chennai, India, Chonqing, China and Camcari, Brazil. The site also boosts the strategic role of Thailand as a volume production and export hub in the ASEAN region, as the models are intended for domestic sale and export to markets in southeast Asia.

Ford is planning to sell the all-new EcoSport in 100 markets around the world. “The all-new EcoSport continues our ongoing product-led transformation by providing customers with another segment-leading vehicle to our growing Ford showroom across our ASEAN markets,” said Matt Bradley, president of Ford ASEAN. “Produced at our highly flexible Ford Thailand Manufacturing facility, it is the next proof point in our continued growth strategy in the region,” he added.

Ford places the EcoSport as an aspirational alternative to the compact car as it has room enough for five adults and their gear. Because of the marriage of versatility and smart connectivity, EcoSport is able to meet the needs and requirements of an urban lifestyle. It boasts of a high driving position and rugged capability as well as superior fuel economy.

Read the entire article Ford starts production of EcoSport in Thailand facility

Mitsubishi hopeful that Thailand-built Mirage will do well in US

Mitsubishi executives are confident that customers in the United States won’t care that the Mirage subcompact hatchback is built in Thailand, as they will care more about its features -- 40 mpg, easy handling and efficient use of interior space as well as its sub-$14,000 sticker price. The Mirage also allows Mitsubishi to plug a hole in its US lineup and provide dealers a new vehicle to sell to consumers.

However, it is still an issue whether the Mirage’s three-cylinder, 1.2-liter engine would be good enough for U.S. highways. Likewise, US consumers may prefer a sedan version of the Mirage. Mitsunori Kitao, COO of Mitsubishi Motors Thailand Co., remarked that they first have to know how well US consumers would receive the Mirage and how well the subcompact hatchback would sell.

After all, Mitsubishi has already started production of a sedan variant, called the Attrage in Thailand and the Mirage G4 in the Philippines this summer. While Mitsubishi is studying the launch of the sedan version in the US, this version is much heavier than the hatchback, which means more strain on the Mirage’s small engine.

Read the entire article Mitsubishi hopeful that Thailand-built Mirage will do well in US

SAIC planning to build MG vehicles in Thailand

There will be a new 50,000-unit assembly plant in Thailand to be established by SAIC Motor Corp., the owner of the British MG sports-car brand. The plant will be set up together with the Charoen Pokphand Group to assemble MG cars for sale in Southeast Asia. According to an SAIC statement, the initial investment by SAIC and CP Group in the joint venture will be 1.8 billion yuan ($289 million).

It plans to start auto sales in 2014. A 51%-share of the venture goes to the Shanghai automaker while CP gets the rest. SAIC said that the partners intend to increase the annual capacity for the plant to 200,000 units. No time frame was given. According to the Web site, a total of 90,035 MG and Roewe vehicles were sold through June 2012.

SAIC has invested in plants outside China as it aims to expand outside of its home market, where it builds passenger vehicles through joint ventures with General Motors Co. and Volkswagen Group. Since 2009, China has been the biggest trading partner with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Read the entire article SAIC planning to build MG vehicles in Thailand

Almost six months after floods in Thailand had halted Honda’s auto production at factory in Ayutthaya, it has been able to resume operations. Honda had said last January that its Thailand production will be fully operational in April. Honda had said that the impact of the floods has led to the lost production of 260,000 vehicles worldwide for the business year that ends this month.

Honda was the worst affected as it had owned the only car plant flooded in. The production of competitors like Toyota and Nissan has normalized by the end of 2011 as they discovered alternative sources for parts outside of the interrupted supply chain.

In 2011, Honda's worldwide output declined by around 20% to 2.91 million cars, falling below 3 million for the first time in eight years. All the other Japanese automakers, with the exception of Nissan, produced fewer cars. However, the declines were much milder than what Honda experienced.

Read the entire article Honda resumed its operations in Thailand, six months after the floods

The all new 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer’s official debut is slated to be on March 26 at the start of the 2012 Bangkok Motor Show yet but the model was introduced recently at a special event in Bangkok. The new Trailblazer is built on the same platform as the re-designed Chevy Colorado and its appearance is also similar to the new Colorado.

The Trailblazer is built on the same underpinnings as a truck. Chevrolet is selling it off as a capable off road vehicle and a passenger hauler that seats seven. The Trailblazer is offered with two engines that come from GM’s range of Duramax diesels. A 2.8L turbocharged four cylinder serves as the larger choice. On the Trailblazer, it produces 180 hp and 346 lb.-ft. of torque.

The smaller choice – a 2.5L four cylinder – can deliver 150 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. There will also be five speed manual offered with both motors and a six-speed automatic. GM said that there will be more engines to be released soon for particular markets. He also said that it’s likely that the diesel variants won’t be offered in the U.S. Driving off-road would be an easy task for the Trailblazer with its independent rear suspension, two or four wheel drive and the use of coil springs throughout.

Read the entire article 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer unveiled in Thailand

Thailand consumers will be glad to know that the all-new Mirage “global compact car” from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is available starting this month. A revolutionary concept was used in the development of the Mirage to meet the needs of rapidly expanding markets as an entry-level car as well as those of the eco-conscious advanced markets with its fine environmental performance.

A brand-new factory at Laem Chabang Plant -- the biggest MMC plant outside of Japan – will make the Mirage. This is the company’s third plant at Mitsubishi Motors Thailand’s (MMTh). The Thailand market is where the Mirage will first be offered.

It will then be offered in the ASEAN countries, Japan, Europe, followed by a continuous release from numerous outlets. Its products include the Mirage’s Product Features. It offers a high fuel efficiency rating and has low CO2 emissions due to its all-new MIVEC engine and thoroughly reduced aerodynamic resistance and rolling resistance.

Read the entire article 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage goes on sale in Thailand

Toyota Motor Corp. will be investing 8.2 billion baht ($257 million) in Thailand, demonstrating just how confident it is in the Southeast Asian car sector hub even as it had faced major disruptions last year due to the flooding. Toyota will soon open a manufacturing plant at Gateway industrial park and will reopen a production line at its Thai Auto Works plant, where its Fortuners are built, according to Kyoichi Tanada, president of the Toyota Motor Thai unit, during a briefing. Tanada said that the company is pouring in a bigger investment “simply because we're not producing enough."

He said that the combined production capacity of the two new Toyota plants would be 88,000 units, with the expectation that the Gateway plant in Chachoengsao province will be prepared for its output to start in July 2013. He said that this plant will build passenger cars and environmentally friendly "eco cars.”

He added that the TAW plant in Samut Prakan province, which was shut down in May 2010 after demand narrowed, can resume production in December 2012. He emphasized that Toyota won’t go elsewhere and that it is relying on the partnership between the Thai government and Japan International Cooperation Agency to make sure that the flooding has been solved.

Read the entire article Toyota to invest $257 million in Thailand, despite floods that affected its production

Ford Motor Co. wasn’t able to achieve its goal to make profits in all of its business units throughout the world in 2011. It reported a loss in the Asia Pacific and Africa region due to the flooding in Thailand. In a presentation at the Detroit auto show, Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said that the Thai floods had a bigger impact than was expected by the company.

He said that in the third quarter, Ford released a guidance to say that all business units would be profitable for the full year but then the automaker doesn’t anymore believe that this is possible. CEO Alan Mulally said that by 2015, Ford global sales will go up by 50% to 8 million vehicles and that a third of its deliveries will be in Asia by 2020. Ford, which is ranked second in the U.S., has less than 3% of the Chinese market.

Michael Robinet, an analyst with auto consultant IHS Automotive in Northville, Michigan, said that this proves just how “globally interconnected” Ford is. Robinet is optimistic that the Thai disaster’s impact will be brief and that the company will recover over time. Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s chief of that region, revealed that Ford is constructing seven factories and has 50 new models and engines arriving in Asia by 2015.

Read the entire article Ford admits that floods in Thailand caused a 2011 loss for its Asia Pacific and Africa region

Honda’s customers are assured that no flood-damaged vehicles would be offered in the market. In fact, the automaker has started to destroy over 1,000 cars in Thailand. Honda revealed in a statement that the plant in the central province of Ayutthaya has begun the scrapping process, which would be completed in one month. This plant in the Rojana Industrial Park is where massive flooding last October forced production to stop.

There were images released of muddy water moving in and around hundreds of new cars. Pitak Pruittisarikorn, the executive vice president of Honda Automobile Thailand, said that numerous new cars that were waiting to be shipped were safely transferred to a safe area and that the flood damaged just 1,055 vehicles that were left inside the plant. He claimed that neither the damaged cars nor any of its components would be sold to customers.

Majority of the cars that would be destroyed are mid-sized City sedans and Brio and Jazz hatchbacks. The factory has yet to resume operations.

Read the entire article Honda to destroy over 1,000 flood-damaged vehicles in Thailand

The Kia Ray electric vehicle – the first one ever to come from Korea – was introduced recently. This is only available for the market in Korea. This car can be driven as far as 139 km (86 miles). Its production line is the same as its combustion-engined model (which it is based on) – the first EV in the world to do so. There are a few exterior elements that differeniate the electric version from the petrol one.

These include a flap in the front grille, which hides the charge inlet for the slow recharge mode. Instead of the fuel filler cap, there’s a cover for the fast recharge mode. Furthermore, there’s a new aerodynamic design for the set of 14-inch alloy rims and ‘Zero Emissions EV’ decals on the front doors. Kia has set a goal to make 2,500 units of the Ray EV in 2012. These can be offered to government departments and public offices under Kia’s eco R&D program.

Kia Ray EV bears a striking look with four distinguishing points: 1) a 220V electricity inlet for slow recharge mode located on the front radiator grille; 2) an inlet for fast recharge mode found in the same location as the intake for regular gasoline-fueled models; 3) smooth 14-inch alloy wheels that help improve aerodynamics by reducing drag; and 4) special decals placed on the front doors, indicating that it’s a “Zero Emissions Electronic Vehicle.”

Read the entire article 2012 Kia Ray EV introduced in Thailand

Mainly due to the drop in output of Camry and Prius units from the floods in Thailand, Toyota Motor Corp. cut its full-year profit forecast by 54%. In a recent statement, Toyota said that in the 12 months ending March 31, its net income is expected to drop by 56% to 180 billion yen ($2.3 billion). This profit figure is less than half of the average profit estimated by 21 analysts as compiled by Bloomberg.

In addition, Toyota cut its forecasts for operating profit and sales. Toyota asserted that the disaster in Thailand will cut 120 billion yen from its earnings, over 40% of the losses that resulted from the earthquake in Japan last March.

The floods led to parts shortages and this disrupted the output of Japanese automakers throughout the globe. This worsened a situation that’s already difficult because of the strengthening yen and the Japan disaster.

Read the entire article Toyota cuts its full-year profit forecast by 54% due to floods in Thailand

The floods in Thailand have forced Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. to postpone until early 2012 their plans for factories to operate overtime in order to recover the production loss that was the result of Japan’s earthquake. Toyota has been reducing its output in Japan for a third week now. It’s also the second week that it has suspended overtime in North America for a second week as the floods have spread.

Honda has temporarily stopped overtime at its plants. Its North American plants are running at half capacity until next week as it examines its inventory.

Tracy Handler, a Troy, Mich.-based analyst with IHS Automotive, said that Toyota and Honda can’t expand production as what was planned until the first quarter of 2012. Handler added that both automakers were “really unlucky this year." The floods in Thailand had been the worst disaster to hit the industry since the earthquake in Japan last March had cut Toyota and Honda’s output for five months.

Read the entire article Honda, Toyota expect to fully recover in 2012 due to Thai floods

Honda Motor Co. disclosed a drop in quarterly profits and cautioned that the shortages in components due to the massive flooding in Thailand will hit production at the company's North American facilities. Company CFO Fumihiko Ike revealed the assessment while Honda pulled its full-year earnings guidance because of the disruptions in supply chain and assembly due to the flood. Ike further stated that they are still assessing the scale of the impact, adding that the situation is "constantly changing."

The new disruptions in supply chain come just when the company and other Japan-based carmakers are trying to go back to full production in the wake of the March 11 earthquake. Toyota has already withdrawn overtime shifts in the U.S. and elsewhere, stating components shortages due to the floods in Thailand.

For the July-September second quarter, Honda recorded a 68 percent decrease in operating profit to 52.5 billion yen or 693 million, generally due to a 14 percent dive in vehicle sales from an earthquake-caused microchip controllers shortage from Renesas Electronics Corp.

Read the entire article Honda to reduce North American production in November due to floods in Thailand

Due to the widespread floods in Thailand, Toyota’s output in its Japanese plants is getting affected. These plants produce several of its top-selling exports like the Prius hybrid that’s being shipped to the U.S. Overtime at Toyota’s five Japanese assembly plants from Monday through Friday has been canceled to be ready for a shortage of parts imported from Thailand.

The massive flooding in the past few weeks has disrupted the supply chain. Toyota estimates a loss of 6,000 units of Japanese output.

Toyota’s plants have been running overtime in order to recover from the production loss it suffered over the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

Read the entire article Toyota’s output in Japanese plants affected again due to flooding in Thailand

Just as the Japan's automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan regained its production levels from the March earthquake and tsunami that hit the country, they are facing another challenge -- the tremendous flooding in Thailand that has led to prolonged productions stoppages at the carmakers' operations in the major manufacturing center.

Supply chain disturbances have not struck offshore operations yet. However, if the flooding gets worse, it could affect facilities in North America or elsewhere that depend on components acquired from Thailand.

The typhoon-induced flooding has reportedly swamped nearly two-thirds of Thailand and killed around 280 people. Thailand is an Asian car-making powerhouse, with worldwide players preferring there for its free-trade agreements with other booming Southeast Asian markets.

Read the entire article Toyota, Honda and Nissan forced to stop production in Thailand due to massive flooding

Nissan Motor Thailand has recently presented the first-ever eco-car for the all-new Almera, which is now available for purchase. This is the automaker’s next green offering after it released the Nissan March as the first hatchback eco-car. The sedan falls under the new green automotive program. Nissan said that this model is a part of the Thai Ministry of Industry’s Board of Investment and complies with all the requirements needed to qualify for the “eco-car” designation.”

Powering the Almera is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that delivers 79hp. It’s offered with either a manual or the XTRONIC-CVT. With the use of the standard start-stop system, its CO2 emissions were reduced to 120 grams per km.

However, its fuel consumption rating is at 20 km/l (equivalent to around 5 liters per 100 km). NMT’s plant in Samutprakarn, Thailand, builds the new Almera. Buyers could choose from among six grades and six different colors.

Read the entire article 2012 Nissan Almera launched in Thailand

Chevrolet’s next-generation midsize pickup truck -- the Colorado – had its global debut in Thailand earlier this week. So far, it hasn’t been confirmed yet if the truck will be available to U.S. customers. However, the General Motors-UAW pact inked last September stated that a midsize truck will be built in Wentzville, Mo., as part of a $380 million investment.

This Colorado model is set to be the replacement of the truck in the U.S. that has been around for quite some time now. Colorado will be offered as a global truck and will be available in 60 markets. The company noted a 30% increase in the January to September 2011 sales to 23,985 units.

Producing the next-gen Colorado here would result to the addition of 1,850 jobs at the Missouri plant. GM hasn’t given an official statement about this but it’s expected to confirm it soon. A spokesman said that Chevrolet considers the midsize truck market to be an “important” one. He said that the new Colorado has attracted plenty of interest but there’s currently nothing to confirm just yet.

Read the entire article 2012 Chevrolet Colorado makes its debut in Thailand

Chevrolet’s 2013 Colorado pickup has recently undergone its final testing in Thailand. The totally undisguised 2013 Colorado was spotted on a Bangkok parking lot. It’s a known fact that Chevrolet’s Asian division has built the compact hatches that Europeans and Americans currently drive. The pickup will be produced in Rayong. Of course, Thailand would be the first market to receive the new pickup.

Its range includes crew-cab and extended-cab variants that are powered by GM’s new fuel-efficient, four-cylinder Duramax diesel engines. Chevrolet Colorado Chief Engineer Roberto Rempel and his testing team stayed in Thailand for the duration of the vehicle’s development to make sure that the local market needs in Southeast Asia and abroad are met.

Rempel said that this “world-class truck” will appeal to buyers in the dense truck markets of Southeast Asia as well as other parts of the globe. He added that the typical buyers of this vehicle are looking for a “workhorse” that could be used daily.

Read the entire article 2013 Chevrolet Colorado undergone its final testing in Thailand

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. aims to invest THB16 billion ($532 million) in a new Thailand plant where it will start producing a global compact model in March 2012. The Tokyo-based Mitsubishi makes the i-MiEV electric car. The company says it will produce 150,000 units of the new model annually.

President Osamu Masuko recently said that Mitsubishi wants to export the small car to overseas markets including Japan and Europe. He said the sale price will be THB400,000 in Thailand for the car, which will be introduced at the Geneva auto show in March 2011.

The company said that annual production capacity at Mitsubishi's third Thai plant may eventually rise to 200,000 units. Mitsubishi added the new model will be an affordable, fuel-efficient car with a 1.0- to 1.2-liter engine that will be exported from Thailand.

Read the entire article Mitsubishi to invest $532 million in a new Thailand plant
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