ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Toyota expanding Thai production
Specifically, Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) will increase the capacity of Hilux Vigo pickup trucks and Fortuner personal passenger vehicles at its Ban Pho plant in Chachoengsao by 83 percent to 220,000 units a year by next August from 120,000 now.
TMT president Kyoichi Tanada said that initially the annual capacity would rise to 140,000 units by next month through improvements meant to shorten the production cycle, with equipment and workers to be added.
By August, the Ban Pho plant's capacity will be raised to 220,000 units per year. The Ban Pho plant opened in 2007 and is currently Toyota's most sophisticated production facility in Thailand, and is also a model of the sustainable plant.
Once the planned expansion comes onstream, Toyota's production capacity of all vehicles in Thailand will reach 650,000 units per year. Toyota also runs a pickup production plant in Samrong, Samut Prakan and a passenger car plant at Gateway in Chachoengsao.
After domestic and overseas demand for IMV automobiles increased rapidly, Toyota decided to halt IMV production at Thai Auto Works in Samut Prakan and shifted production to Ban Pho. However, the limited capacity forced Toyota to shift some production of Fortuners to Indonesia for local demand and some exports to Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Tanada also said that Siam Toyota Manufacturing Co, a joint venture of Toyota (96 percent) and Siam Cement Group (4 percent) would increase its diesel engine production capacity to 330,000 engines a year from the planned capacity of 220,000 to meet increased demand for IMV vehicles.
When combined with petrol engines, Siam Toyota will have total engine output of 630,000 units to supply to IMV production bases in six countries.
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