Mazda to invest Bt10 bn for transmission plant, 500 jobs to be created
After spending Bt837 million to expand the AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) plant in Rayong for 1-tonne pickup trucks by 20,000 units per year to 195,000, Mazda has decided to invest almost Bt10 billion to open a transmission plant in Chon Buri.
Mazda Motor Corporation said yesterday that the ¥26-billion (Bt8.5 billion) plant would be able to produce about 400,000 units a year.
"Mazda has decided to establish the plant in order to respond to increasing demand for models featuring SkyActiv technology and to strengthen its global production footprint. Operations at the new plant will commence in the first half of the fiscal year ending March 2016," the Japanese auto-maker's statement said.
Up to 500 jobs are expected to be created.
The new plant will be about 5 kilometres north of the AAT plant, which is a joint venture with Ford Motor Co, and will supply automatic transmissions for SkyActiv models produced at AAT and other Mazda vehicle production facilities around the world.
Mazda is scheduled to launch the award-winning CX-5 crossover in Thailand during the third quarter of this year. The CX-5 will come with many SkyActiv features designed to enhance fuel economy and performance, including the gearbox.
Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's representative director and president and chief executive officer, said Mazda was establishing global production footprints to achieve its goal of annual global sales of 1.7 million units by the fiscal year ending March 2016.
He said the company's plant in Nakanoseki district of Hofu, Japan, would remain the chief production facility for transmissions, "but we have decided to establish a second major transmission plant in Thailand's Chon Buri province. This will enable Mazda to cope with the rapidly increasing demand for SkyActiv models and establish a production system capable of responding to the changing demands of our customers in a flexible and timely manner.
"We will make use of the knowledge and experience gained through AAT to ensure the success of the new plant in cooperation with the people of Thailand."
Mazda will establish Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co.
Last year Mazda sold a record 74,000 vehicles in Thailand, up by 76 per cent. It is targeting sales of 80,000 units this year and is gradually moving to its 100,000-unit-per-year target in a few years, said Choichi Yuki, managing director of Mazda Sales Thailand Co.
Name Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co
Location Chon Buri
Total investment About 26 billion yen
Investment ratio 100% Mazda
Business outline Production and sales of transmissions for Mazda vehicles
Number of employees About 500