SAIC MOTOR-CP Co, the manufacturer and distributor of MG vehicles in Thailand, is studying plans that could lead to an investment of as much as Bt30 billion-Bt40 billion in a second assembly plant within three years.
Yesterday the company staged a media unveiling of its MG6 at its Bt9 billion plant at the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Chon Buri. The facility on a 30-rai site is capable of producing 50,000 units per year.
Thanakorn Seriburi, vice president of Charoen Pokphand Group, said SAIC Motor-CP targets domestic sales of 200,000 units, or 10 per cent of the market, by the third year of operation.
The second plant would use 500 rai to assemble up to 150,000-200,000 units per year.
“There are also plans to bring the research and development centre as well as other divisions into Thailand, and this will depend on the response from Thai customers,” he said.
The company plans to produce six to seven models in Thailand ranging from passenger cars to SUVs.
Wu Huan, president of SAIC Motor-CP, said the MG6 will make its formal appearance in the public on June 19.
Production is targeted at 2,000 units this year with deliveries starting next quarter. But next year output is expected to jump to 14,000 units, as production of the MG3 and MG5 for both domestic and export markets commences.
Thai-made MG vehicles carry a local content of about 45-50 per cent, allowing them to be exported to regional markets. MG plans to ship cars from Thailand to all right-hand drive markets with future potential.
“Thailand will serve as the production base for right-hand drive models, and export marketing plans will be carried out continuously. We will also develop our products for E85 in the future, as the MG6 is compatible with E20 and below,” he told reporters.
The political situation has not affected the company.
“Political problems are normal and can happen in any country. The fact that MG is able to move ahead with our plan is a good thing and we are ready to carry on doing business here,” he said.