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Automotive Industry
August 27, 2007
New master plan to lure new wave of investment

Thailand's Industry Ministry is set to come up with a 2007-2011 master plan for the auto industry in preparation for a new wave of investment focused on productivity and production efficiency.

Wallop Tiasiri, director of the Automobile Institute, said he believed there would be a new wave of investment of around Bt100 billion (US$2,941 million) in the local auto industry in the next three years.

It is expected the investment amount would come from all automakers in Thailand. So, the Industry Ministry had assigned the institute to study and map out the master plan for the auto industry in preparation for the new investment. 

He said the Thai auto industry is attractive to various automakers since it still had the ASEAN market, which is not smaller than China and India, to accommodate the investment expansion.

Equally important, multinational automakers felt comfortable when they run business in Thailand. He said the master plan would not set the production and export targets, but it would instead place  emphasis on productivity and production efficiency. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Kosit Panpiemras said under the master plan the government would work together with the private sector in areas of human resources, technology and supporting industry and the  auto parts industry.

He hoped the cooperation would enable automakers to efficiently adjust to the changing competition environment.

At present, he said, Mitsubishi Motor had begun investment of around Bt800 million in purchasing more machinery for the one-tonne pickup production line.

Ford Motor had expressed interest to invest more than US$1 billion to expand the auto production in Thailand and Honda had been keen in investment in the eco-car production in the country. TNA reports

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