ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
GM setting up Asean MPV hub in Indonesia
General Motors is planning to roll out three models of MPV models - Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Captiva and Chevrolet Estate Corp - in Indonesia as the US car giant restarting production at its idled plant in Pondok Ungu, Bekasi, West Java, state news agency Antara quoted Transport Director Syarif Hidayat as saying Monday.
GM may have to invest $200 million to restart operations at the plant, which used to have a capacity of 20,000 units a year.
GM has lately been raising its stakes in its operations in Asean. On August 13, GM signed a deal with Thailand’s top energy firm PTT to collaborate on research into alternative fuels such as ethanol for cars.
"The strategy will focus on alternative energy that is socially responsible, economic, environment-friendly and with practical technology," said GM chief executive Richard Wagoner.
The CEO was in Thailand to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the $445-million diesel engine plant in Rayong on the eastern seaboard, also known as the Detroit of Thailand.
Their research will include finding ways to expand ethanol production from crops not used for food. The firms will also study hydrogen fuel, low-cost hybrid engines, and other fuel-saving technology in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.
The engine plant is due to start production in 2010, will employ 440 workers and have the capacity to produce more than 100,000 2.5 liter and 2.8 liter turbo diesel engines each year.
The new plant in Rayong will supply diesel engines for Colorado pickup trucks, taking the place of the local Isuzu diesel engine factory, as GM has divested its holdings in the Japanese automaker.
The 14,492 square-metre facility will be GM's first diesel engine plant in Southeast Asia. It will be located next to the assembly plant that opened in 2000 and now employs 2,000 people.