The automotive market in Thailand is large and has an extensive amount of firms operating in it and has made considerable progress to solidifying its status as the “Detroit of Asia”. It currently is the world’s second largest pick up truck market and ASEAN’s largest automotive market and assembler. In the past couple of years, many car manufacturers of the world have made the decision to transfer their manufacturing bases to Thailand for export purposes (Sector Overview: The Automotive Industry in Thailand 2006) and this has resulted in Thailand becoming Asia’s third largest exporter of automobiles. (Fuller 2006)
In 2006 according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) Thailand was ranked 15th in worldwide automotive manufacturing. It produced 298819 cars, 895607 commercial vehicles, which totalled a staggering 1296060. This was a 15.2% increase from the year before.
236,634 units of passenger cars and 466,771 units of commercial cars were sold in 2005, or a 2.21% and 18.31 % increase respectively, when compared with those of 2004. (Automotive Industry in Thailand 2006)
Car assemblers in Thailand, ranked by production capacity in 2005
Rank Assembler Units Capacity Share
1 Toyota Motor Thailand Co.,Ltd. 350,800 27.62
2 Isuzu Operations (Thailand) Co.,Ltd. 200,000 15.75
3 Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co.,Ltd. 170,200 13.40
4 Auto Alliance (Thailand) Co.,Ltd. 135,000 10.63
5 Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co.,Ltd. 120,000 9.45
6 General Motors (Thailand) Co.,Ltd. 115,000 9.05
7 Siam Nissan Automobile Co.,Ltd. 102,000 8.03
8 Hino Motors Sale (Thailand) Ltd. 28,800 2.27
9 Thonburi Automotive Assembly Co.,Ltd.16,300 1.28
10 Y.M.C Assembly Co.,Ltd. 12,000 0.94
11 BMW Manufacturing (Thailand) Co.,Ltd. 10,000 0.79
12 Thai Swedish Assembly Co.,Ltd. 10,000 0.79
13 Bangchan General Assembly Co.,Ltd. 0 0.00
Total 1,270,100 100.00
Source : Office of Industrial Economics, Ministry of Industry. Remark : excluding Motorcycles
Auto Alliance is a joint venture between Ford and Mazda
BMW also produces Mini Cooper
(Cited in Automotive Industry in Thailand 2006)
The automotive market in comparison to Thailand is not as large and has been dominated by two of its national car companies, Proton and Perodua and in the past Malaysia has adopted a policy of heavily protecting its national car companies. (Lau 2006)
In 2006 according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) Malaysia is ranked 23rd in worldwide automotive manufacturing. It produced 377952 cars, 125021 commercial vehicles which totalled 502973 and experienced a decline of 10.8% from the year before.
Aseansources.com states that: “To-date, there are four national automotive projects, ten assemblers and three composite body sports car manufacturers in the country that manufacture/assemble a wide range of makes and models. There are also more than 590 component manufacturers, both local and foreign, to supply the needs of the automotive industry.”
Malaysia has the biggest passenger car market in ASEAN and sold 366738 in 2006. Nevertheless a 6% decline is expected and this is due to “and this was due to the sagging consumer confidence, hostile loan condition and the dismal resale value.”(NG 2007)
Proton and Perodua they control more than 70 per cent of the Malaysian domestic market. Toyota is best selling foreign car in Malaysia and Honda is the second. (Lau 2006)
The Country Situation
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Program, Thailand is 15th easiest to do business and the 36th easiest to start a business.
Thailand is very open to foreign investment and no longer has any specific measures set up to obstruct entry of...