ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thailand remains primary automobile producer in Southeast Asia
Thai automobile makers insist Thailand remains the biggest automobile producer in Southeast Asia as the expansion of the Indonesian automotive industry is aimed only at meeting local demand.
ASEAN Automotive Federation president Piengjai Keawsuwan said vehicles made in Thailand were available in more than 100 countries and their presence underlined the internationally recognized automotive industry of Thailand, the quality of the automobiles it made and the strongest support industries of the Thai automotive industry in Southeast Asia.
Last year Thailand produced 2.45 million automobiles.
The amount achieved a new high in 52 years and Thailand becomes the ninth biggest automobile producer worldwide. It is also the biggest one-ton pickup truck producer of the world.
The Ministry of Industry expects to increase Thailand's automotive production to 3 million units within three years or 2017.
Automotive production in Thailand this year is expected to fall 2.32 per cent to 2.40 million units from last year due to the economic slowdown.
Thai automotive exports still have bright prospects although Thai producers may lose Indonesia as a market because Indonesia is producing some kinds of automobiles in considerable volume and exporting them to Thailand.
Ms Piengjai said despite local political changes, automotive manufacturers would not move from Thailand to Indonesia because Thailand had developed its automobile-supply industries for as long as 50 years.
The ASEAN Automotive Federation president said neighboring countries demanded more Thai-made autos, so the country should secure its position as the biggest automobile producer in Southeast Asia. (MCOT online news)
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