This is from TNA:
A five-year master plan in Thailand's Automotive Industry Development, beginning in 2007, is designed to make Thailand an automotive production and distribution hub for Asia, according to a senior Thai official.
Thailand Automotive Institute president of Vallop Tiasiri said the draft master plan is now awaiting consideration of Kosit Panpiemras, deputy prime minister and industry minister.
Here we go again. We are just a few weeks away from the start of the 24th Thailand International Motor Expo, and the event organisers have decided on a theme: "Future Vehicles Stun the World."
Sure beats last year's effort of "Bionic Vehicles...here, there and everywhere." I still don't understand what they were trying to get at with that one!
Well, here is the thinking behind this theme:
"On this fast revolving planet many phenomena happen, but only some can so stun the world as to almost stop it.
Futuristic technologies that car makers apply to vehicles today and plan to incorporate in future models are undeniably some of the world-stunning phenomena, because they are filled with miracles created by the brains of automotive engineers."
Phenomena, miracles, stun, revolving! Strong. Although I doubt that the Expo will have an effect on the rotation of the Earth, we can expect to see some revolving cars minus the miracles, and "world-stunning phenomena".
Honda has announced the investment of THB 6.2 billion in a second manufacturing plant in Thailand. This represents Hondas largest single investment in Thailand to date, and will double the companies production operations here to 240,000 units per year.
The plant will be built at the existing Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC) facility in Ayutthya, making it the largest passenger car production facility of any international manufacturer in the ASEAN region.
Subaru vehicles are imported to Thailand by Motor Image Subaru, and they have just invested THB 300 million on a new showroom and service center. Located on Serithai road, the facility is intended to expand the profile of the brand, as well as prepare for future investments.
As with the majority of cars imported in CBU form, Subaru models are expensive when compared to locally built opposition, and so it is important for Motor Image Subaru to project the image of a premium brand (owing to the premium pricing.)
Thailand has finally done the right thing and applied the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) to Malaysian built vehicles. Up to now Thailand maintained a 20% tariff on Malaysian imports citing the Malaysian Approved Permits (AP) system as a barrier to market for Thai built vehicles.
It seems that Thailand has finally conceded that the AP system is not a problem, and so the zero to five percent tariff will apply in accordance with the CEPT.
You can read the full story here.
Related story : Higher import duties might end trade
Update : The excise rate has been set at 17%!
Details of the Eco-car project continue to trickle out at a frustratingly slow pace, making it seem that nobody really know what is going on. As soon as any tentative details do surface, they are generally met with a barrage from every side, with most of the criticism coming from the industry itself.
Although the final rate will be set by the Cabinet, Deputy Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has pinned a "15% or lower" excise rate on the manufacture of Eco-cars.
This evening, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Surayud Chulanont are signing a free-trade agreement to lift more than 90% of the trade tariffs between Japan and Thailand.
Under the agreement Thailand will phase out its surcharges on Japan's iron and steel products over a 10 year period.
BANGKOK - TestCar Co., Ltd. is the first company in Thailand to Offer a state-of-the-art fully accredited computerized automotive inspection service at international standards. The company provides an independent, unbiased assessment of the vehicle system especially for the second hand car market.
The reliable and high standard provided by TestCar has enabled the company to now be the sole dealer for MAHA (Maschinenbau Haldenwang) from Germany. MAHA is represented in more than 130 countries worldwide and is recognized as one of the best manufacturer of testing and inspection equipment for automobiles and trucks. Products of the company are used by governments worldwide to inspect vehicles of any types. MAHA is certified by a majority of car manufacturers worldwide.
After running its own facility and adjusting all MAHA equipments for the Thai market, TestCar will start marketing and sales of MAHA equipments locally.
"Drive thru the nature." I still don't know what they mean. I was expecting to see a few alternative fuel vehicles, maybe a few hydrogen fuel cell demonstrations, but apart from a single Prius at the Toyota exhibit there was very little reason to believe that any of the automakers understood what the theme was supposed to be about.
After being disappointed with the lack of interesting (i.e. new) vehicles at last years Thailand Motor Expo, I had hopped that this year's "Motor Show" would offer more. So today I went to have a look.
We knew to expect at least two new vehicles, and they were there, but ....
The Thai auto industry will be pinning its hopes on a very successful Bangkok International Motor Show to kick-start sales.
This year started very poorly, with total sales in January falling below the 40k mark with just 38,648 units sold. This has been followed up by a similarly poor February with sales of just 43,605 units.
The poor sales cannot be explained away very easily since over all sales are down by over 27% compared to the same 2-month period last year, this despite aggressive marketing campaigns at the start of the year, and new model introductions.
Honda have been experiencing a revival of sorts in Thailand, with 2006 seeing the company gain significant market share. The Honda Civic has been central to this, and is continuing to sell well. The Civic has the advantage of being a generation ahead of its rivals, and is technologically and visually ahead of the pack.
The CR-V is also selling well, despite being the ugliest SUV on the market, but it will see fresh competition from the Chevrolet Captiva which will be unveiled at the Bangkok International Motor Show at the end of the month.
A total of 1,188,044 automobiles were produced in Thailand in 2006, consisting of 298,819 passenger cars (with exports of 541,206 units), and 866,769 units of one-ton pickup trucks (increase of 5.34%) resulting in 240,764 million Baht of exports.
Honda announced the sales target of 70,000 units in 2007 after achieving 66,000 units in 2006 (increase of 14% from the previous year). 26,000 units of Civic has been sold so far this year. Honda is expecting fierce competition this year due to launch of new cars being lined up by different manufacturers, and is planning to respond with 145 Honda dealers throughout Thailand.
GM's budget brand, Chevrolet, has plans to open a new Parts Delivery Center to meet demands for servicing going forward.
Chevrolet has built up total vehicle sales of over 100,000 units, and expect growth to continue thanks to competitive pricing and 5-year warranties across the range. The range is also growing with the recent introduction of the Aveo, and the expected addition of the Captiva later this year.
Siam Nissan Automobile believe that 2007 will be their year! According to reports, Nissan are projecting sales in Thailand to increase by anything between 42% (Bangkok Post) and 80% (ANTARA News, Japan) this year.
Nissan are banking on a healthy sales boost to result from the launch of the all new Frontier Navara pickup truck which, according to the Nissan website, will be released in 5 days.
Given that the Navara will be the biggest and most powerful truck on the Thai market, it would seem reasonable for Nissan to expect big things.