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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  9 July 2015  

Astra Otoparts sets up JV with Bridgestone

Auto-component maker Astra Otoparts — part of diversified conglomerate Astra International Indonesia — is set to establish a joint venture with the world’s largest tire manufacturer Bridgestone Corporation, partnering to make rubber-based components.

Astra Otoparts announced in a press statement published Monday that the company had signed an agreement with the Japan-based manufacturer in Jakarta last Thursday to set up a joint venture, in which Astra Otoparts will hold a 49 percent stake while Bridgestone will have the remaining majority.

The joint venture, the statement said, would work on a factory to produce anti-vibration components for four-, or more, wheelers. The components to be produced are engine mounting, body mounting and suspension parts.

The factory will be situated in Purwakarta, West Java, and is expected to take up to Rp 174 billion (US$13.03 million) in total investment.

Made Kusumawati, head of investor relations and corporate secretary of Astra Otoparts, said that she could not disclose much about the factory as it was still being planned, except that it was expected to start mass production in January 2016.

She said that the joint venture would be a milestone for Astra Otoparts to directly partner with the global tire producer, which currently engages with her company only in technical assistance for its subsidiaries.

“We want to be a component maker with a complete portfolio, and Bridgestone has the experience in producing rubber-based products,” she told The Jakarta Post, adding that it would be Astra Otoparts’ first time making such components.

Bridgestone operates 170 facilities in 26 countries, with total net revenue of 3.67 trillion yen in 2014. The company, which is headquartered in Tokyo, currently has eight anti-vibration facilities in six countries, including its latest partnership with Astra Otoparts.

Astra Otoparts, meanwhile, operates seven business units through 34 subsidiaries, serving both the domestic market and more than 30 importing countries.

Made said the capacity of the new factory was still being studied, adding that it would depend on future developments in the automotive market, which was currently tainted by economic slowdown and consumers’ weak purchasing power.

Car sales slumped by more than 25 percent year-on-year (yoy) during the first five months of the year, slipping from 3.26 million units last year to 2.6 million units by May this year. Astra’s four-wheeler sales, meanwhile, slipped by nearly 20 percent yoy from around 277,000 units between January and May last year to 223,000 units in the same period this year.

Automotive sales are one of the key indicators of domestic demand, controlling more than half of the economy.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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