BMW making a second motorcycle in Rayong

Auto & Audio August 01, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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German luxury car and motorcycle manufacturer BMW has added a second bike to its motorcycle production line in Rayong.

BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand Rayong will commence production of the BMW F 800 GS, which joins the BMW F 800 R as the second motorcycle assembled in the country. 
The BMW facility in Rayong is the only BMW production site globally to assemble vehicles for all three BMW brands: BMW, Mini, and BMW Motorrad. 
“Our assembly line expansion is the latest step in our strategic production road map for BMW, Mini and for BMW Motorrad specifically,” BMW Group Thailand president Matthias Pfalz said. 
Globally, the BMW Motorrad has achieved an all-time six-month high in the first half of this year. With worldwide sales of 70,978 motorcycles and maxi scooters (previous year 64,941 units), this amounts to an increase of 9.3 per cent as compared to the equivalent period of the previous year. 
In Thailand, BMW Motorrad delivered more motorcycles in the first half of 2014 than entire 2011, with 218 bikes being delivered to Thai customers. 
“It’s going to be another record-setting year for BMW Motorrad Thailand. The locally assembled BMW F 800 GS is intended to capitalise on this outstanding momentum, and to serve robust demand in the ‘enduro’ segment. We are committed to strengthening our growth and presence in Thailand and the region. Being locally asembled, the BMW F 800 GS also comes with a competitive price tag, reinforcing our market position in the long term," Pfalz said. 
“All of us are very proud to now assemble the BMW F 800 GS in our hometown of Rayong,” said BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand managing director Jeffrey Gaudiano. “It represents not only our strong confidence in Thailand as one of the key production hubs in Asia, but also our faith that this market is only set to grow in the region.” 
The launch of the F 800 GS was accompanied by a special appearance by two-time Guinness World Record holder Kevin Sanders, who has ridden overland from London to Bangkok with his GlobeBusters team. 
Thai members of the team Patima Kongpetch and Pawee Pandumrongsatid travelled more than 20,800km on BMW GS models across western Europe to Istanbul, and from there followed the Silk Road through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and into China. On reaching Xi’an (the ancient Chinese terminus of the Silk Road), they rode along the timeless Tea Horse Road into Laos, through the Golden Triangle between Myanmar and Thailand and along the “Road of 1,864 bends” into Bangkok.