Japan widens inroads in Thailand car industry

Featured South East Asia - November 1st, 2012

Japanese automakers are set to increase production in Thailand to meet increasing domestic demand there after devastating floods that seriously damaged the industry in 2011.

Thailand remains a crucial destination for Japanese exports. Japan expects the country to regain the top position in annual auto sales this year, after having fallen behind Indonesia due to the floods that ravaged the country and damaged the operations of Japanese automakers and auto parts manufacturers, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

Isuzu Motors Ltd. started operations Monday at a $225 million plant with an annual production capacity of 100,000 units, enabling the company to produce 400,000 pickup trucks a year, half of which will be sold in Thailand and the other half exported to more than 100 countries.

Nissan Motor Co. plans to build a plant in with an annual production capacity of 200,000 units a year, while Toyota Motor Corp. announced plans to double production at its diesel engine factory in the country by 2015. Car sales in Thailand rose 49.1% from the same period last year to 1,000,577 units from January through September.