February 29, 2012 00:00 By The Nation 7,415 Viewed
Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan on Wednesday announced Bt6 billion investment to increase its engine production in Thailand, showing yet another mark of confidence to the Thai economy despite the great floods last year.
In a statement, the company said that through the investment through Siam Toyota Manufacturing Co Ltd (STM), the production capacity of Toyota Corolla ZR benzene engines will be raised by 100,000 units annually, creating around 200 new additional jobs, from 3,000 at present. The expansion will include increasing the capacity for the casting of aluminum materials. The expansion programme at the plant in Amata-Nakorn Industrial Estate, Chon Buri, is projected to be completed in 2014.
STM is the main Toyota engine manufacturing facility for the complete lineup of Toyota vehicles available in Thailand as well as for export markets. Since the foundation of STM, the plant manufactured high production volume of diesel engines to meet demand for commercial vehicles.
The investment follows the growing demand for passenger cars in Asia-Pacific.
Under the investment, STM's annual production capacity was 840,000 engines, or about 10 per cent of the global Toyota production.
The investment will also include will installation of additional manufacturing lines for the casting of aluminum materials at STM which are important parts for the Toyota Corolla engine.
"Totally, the investment will help enhance the competitiveness of Thailand’s automotive production and promote the use of locally manufactured auto parts. In addition, Toyota ZR benzene engines will be exported to Toyota affiliates in Asia-Pacific such as Vietnam, Taiwan, resulting in the minimum income contributed to Thailand at Bt3 billion annually," Toyota said in the statement.
STM is 96 per cent owned by TMC and 4 per cent by Siam Cement Plc.
Though no auto plants in Thailand were flooded last year, Toyota faced severe supply-chain disruption. The disruptions sent spillover effects to its production in Japan and as far as North America.