SAIC considers second Thai plant
China’s SAIC Motor is considering building a second auto plant in Thailand, according to local reports.
The company wants to make Thailand its main production base for right hand drive vehicles.
SAIC Motor, China’s largest vehicle manufacturer, already holds a 51% stake in SAIC-CP Motor Company, a manufacturing joint venture with Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, which is spending THB9bn (US$283m) on an assembly facility in Rayong.
This plant will have a production capacity of 50,000 units per year and is scheduled to begin operations in February 2014. It will produce the MG6, from February 2014. First year output is expected to be 2,000 units, with the company rolling out sales networks in Thailand and in ASEAN markets that year.
A second plant is a few years away and would bring production capacity in Thailand to 150,000-200,000 units. The company is looking to target RHD sales in Asia, Australia (where sales are just getting started) and New Zealand with the vehicles produced in Thailand.
SAIC sold around 60,000 vehicles outside China last year and about 4m in its home market.