The best and most authoritative e-publication available on the Thai auto industry is the Thai Auto Book 2012 (thaiautobook. blogspot.com) compiled by the Automotive Focus Group president Uli Kaiser.
The statistics on the Auto Alliance plant are interesting, with the combined plant having the capacity of 195,000 units (pick-ups) and 100,000 cars. Forward bookings for the new Ford Ranger are 16,500 and 13,500 for the Mazda BT-50.
Saudi Arabia is also an interesting market for Thai made vehicles. According to Thai Automotive Institute, approximately 20 percent of Thai car exports go to the Middle East. Thailand exported about 750,000 cars in 2011 and 20 percent of that is 150,000. Saudi Arabia recorded sales of about 550,000 vehicles in 2011 – so roughly every third car sold in Saudi Arabia is made in Thailand. The popular makes are Toyota (41 percent and 230,000 vehicles), Hyundai (19 percent) and Ford (eight percent).
Hyundai are certainly on a roll. Now 5th largest automaker it is showing double digit growth in Europe, where the overall market is in decline. One reason is their quality, regularly out-performing the better known brands in the quality stakes.
Add those predictions to the news from David Nardone (CEO Hemaraj) that they have revised their land sales and ready-made factories figures upwards for 2012, with the bulk of the purchasers being involved in the auto industry.
Provided the manufacturers here can find (and keep) skilled labor, it would seem that the Eastern Seaboard is in for a record year.