A trade mission from the Australian automotive industry visited Thailand in late April, to explore new opportunities in the Kingdom.
Assisted by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the mission consisted of delegates from eight Australian companies, specialising in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) automotive technologies, components and tooling.
The mission provided the Australian companies, some of which already have set up operations in Thailand, with first-hand industry insights and an opportunity to present their technologies and capabilities to OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers.
During the three-day programme, the delegates enjoyed a wide range of business activities, including company visits, participation at the Thailand Auto Parts and Accessories (TAPA) show, a networking event and one-on-one business matchings.
According to Austrade, Thailand has been the most popular offshore destinationfor Australian investors in the automotive parts industry.
Approximately 20 Australian automotive parts manufacturers have established operations in Thailand to supply their growing customer base, including Futuris, MHG, ARB, TriMotive, Harrington Industries and Air International. The incentives offered by Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) over the last three decades have contributed to foreign companies’ final decision on investment location. The environmentally friendly vehicle “Eco Car” project - Phase 2 is one programme that will provide a range of incentives and investment privileges to attract foreign investment and boost Thailand’s automotive production output. Ten car manufacturers have applied to participate in this programme which is estimated to increase Thailand’s automotive production to 3 million units by 2019. Several of the mission delegates expressed an interest to seek joint venture partners in the near future to capitalise on this expected growth.
Automotive technologies and capabilities that Australia has to offer include automotive design, and the engineering and manufacture of a complete range of automotive components, including body and chassis systems, electrical and control systems, drivelines, interiors and aftermarket accessories.