Peugeot to Manufacture in Thailand

More good news for Thailand and it's quest to become the "Detroit of Asia". I'm not so sure this is such a lofty goal anyway, but it is the term (over)used to describe the Thai auto industry.

One reason for Thailand's success in the auto industry is excise duties! To put it bluntly if you wish to be competitive in Thailand you need to assemble your cars in Thailand to benefit from lower excise duties. Of course lower land prices, cheap labour costs, and other factors come into the equation, but excise rates are obviously designed to "encourage" manufacturers to build in Thailand.

There are several cars on the Thai market that are simply overpriced relative to the competition and sell in extremely low volume volumes as a result. These include offerings from Citroen (like the recently released C4) and Peugeot. Peugeot sells a number of models in Thailand including the 206 and 407, with the 1007 on the way. Peugeot have sold 230 cars in the first 8 months of 2005, which is actually completely amazing when you consider that the cars are so overpriced.

Now it seems that Peugeot will attempt to increase sales volumes in Thailand by building a manufacturing facility here. No solid details yet, but Peugeot will manufacture cars to appeal to the local market..... let's hope it won't be another pickup truck... or worse... another SUV!