Does the future of the Thai auto industry look good? You betcha! The latest to join the expansions is Honda which is going to spend B. 17 billion on a new assembly plant at Prachin Buri and another three billion baht on expansion of the current Ayutthaya assembly plant. This will provide for an output of 300,000 units per year by 2014.
According to the local Honda president, Hiroshi Kobayashi, the new Prachin Buri plant is modeled on another new plant in Japan, with the emphasis being “green”. This new plant will initially produce 120,000 units annually, bringing Honda production to 420,000 units by 2015. Most of these will be sub-compact small cars, with around 50 percent of the output earmarked for export to ASEAN, Oceania, Middle East and Africa.
The new plant will also be looking for an additional 2,500 workers, which could be a problem in the short term, with there being a chronic shortage of skilled labor in Thailand.