Domestic car production exceeds 2 million units this year


BANGKOK, Nov 23 – Thailand’s automotive industry is jubilantly celebrating its “2012 Golden Year” as the annual automobile manufacturing has surpassed 2 million units for the first time in five decades.

Vitoon Simachokedee, permanent secretary for industry, said today that domestic automobile production through the yearend will reach 2.3 million units—1.3 million units for domestic distribution and 1 million units for export.

The champion products are pickup trucks and eco-cars, he said, adding that Thailand has moved forward as one of the 10 top automotive-manufacturing countries.

He said Thailand’s automotive exports rank sixth worldwide. Exports are expected to reach 2.5 million units next year and 3 million units in 2017.

Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) president Payungsak Chartsuthipol called 2012 as the “golden year” of Thai automotive industry and said the country currently has over 2,500 spare parts and automotive-related plants, hiring a competent labour force of more than 800,000 people.

The automotive and spare parts industries sought investment privileges at a total value of Bt2.02 million this year, a 95 per cent increase from last year, he said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will preside at a celebration of automotive achievement, entitled “2 million units: New era to global success,” scheduled for next Friday.