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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   8  December 2010

Indonesian auto demand takes center stage

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Despite its supporting industry network, Thailand's position as the largest Asean vehicle market will eventually be surpassed by Indonesia based on the latter's consumer market, which is four times larger than Thailand's, says a Ford Motor Company representative.

The new Focus will be made at the US$450-million Ford Motor Co (Thailand) facility in Rayong province when it is completed two years from now.

Thailand is currently the strongest market in Asean, but "in the long run, Indonesia will grow faster", said John Fleming, Ford executive vice-president for global manufacturing and labor affairs.

"Thailand and Indonesia represent the two largest volume opportunities in Asean," said Mr. Fleming. "This year, Thailand could sell about 800,000 units, while Indonesia will sell about 750,000, so it will take a few years before Indonesia overtakes Thailand."

Fleming made the comments during a recent visit to the site of the new US$450-million Ford Motor Co (Thailand) facility that will begin making Ford Focus cars in two years. The plant is located on 750,000 square metres of land and will have an initial annual capacity of 150,000 units.

A total of 177 component suppliers, including 165 Thai firms, will supply 800 billion baht worth of products to Ford for eventual export to Asia-Pacific markets. Expected job generation of 11,000 is based on 150,000-unit annual capacity.

Sustainability initiatives will include: the Three-Wet-On technology paint process for less waste, on-site waste treatment, energy-efficient lighting systems, natural ventilation, day lighting and a pilot project to incorporate photovoltaic, stationary power storage and next generation LED lighting.

Mr Fleming said Thailand fits well with the company's One Ford policy (one team, one plan and one goal) of restructuring for profit at current demand and working as a lean global enterprise.

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