General Motors Thailand and Southeast Asia Operations has celebrated the production of its millionth vehicle - a Chevrolet Trailblazer - since operations began in 2000 at the Rayong assembly plant.
The celebration coincided with a visit from GM chief executive officer Mary Barra and president Dan Ammann on Thursday. Speaking at the celebration, Barra said the milestone demonstrated why Thailand is so important to GM’s growth in Southeast Asia, and helped reinforce the automaker’s commitment to strengthening its investment in this facility continually.
Ammann added: “Everything starts with great products. Our plant in Rayong is an important member of GM’s regional and global manufacturing operation. It also is a key component of our consumer-centric and market-driven strategy for growing our product line-up and Chevrolet brand in the region.”
GM’s facility in Rayong has 4,300 employees. It was one of five new plants built outside North America in the late 1990s. It incorporates GM’s Global Manufacturing System (GMS), a company-wide production system based on the principles of lean manufacturing. The main elements of GMS include employee involvement, continuous improvement, standardisation, short lead-time, and built-in quality, the company says.
The Rayong plant has the ability to produce different models and variants on the same line without incurring unnecessary downtime. This enabled the facility to launch successfully a totally renewed line-up in the past two years. The facility enjoyed record exports last year, shipping almost 44,000 vehicles to 77 countries.
Barra and Ammann also visited GM Thailand’s powertrain facility and congratulated the team for building 100,000 engines from its opening in September 2011 to May last year. The plant is producing second-generation four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel engines and is GM’s only diesel-engine plant in the region. It also is the first GM powertrain facility in the world to manufacture four-cylinder Duramax engines.
General Motors Corporation and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.
GM, its subsidiaries and joint-venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands.