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Ford: B60bn local content

Ford has pledged to purchase nearly $2 billion or 60 billion baht per year worth of locally made parts once its new automobile plant in Rayong begins operations next year.

The amount also includes purchases by the AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) plant in Rayong, in which Ford and Mazda are 50:50 partners.

The US carmaker said its expansion in Thailand would create 33,000 local jobs, including 8,500 directly employed and 25,000 indirectly through Ford’s supplier and dealer networks.

Allan Mulally, president and chief executive of Ford Motor Co, said Thailand was a critical component of Ford’s strategy in Asia, which is expected to account for 40% of global auto industry growth over the next five to seven years.

Thailand is currently the world’s 12th largest auto producer in terms of volume and is expected to move into the top 10 by 2014.

Speaking in Rayong where he attended the production debut of the new Ford Ranger global compact pickup, Mr Mulally said Ford was now the second largest automotive investor in Thailand, with $2.5 billion invested to date.

Thailand will serve as one of three global production and export hubs for the Ranger, alongside South Africa and Argentina.

The Ranger is the first of eight new vehicles Ford plans to introduce to Asean over the next five years. It will be followed next year by the new Ford Focus compact.

Source: Bangkok Post

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