Ford Motor has announced the allotment of $450 million for its upcoming manufacturing plant in Thailand. Bulk of the production will be utilised for export markets in the Asia Pacific. The new plant, located in the eastern province of Rayongm will build Ford Focus passenger cars from 2012, but will also have the capacity to produce a range of other Ford cars in the future.
“Our new, highly flexible plant is the latest proof point in our aggressive expansion strategy in the Asia Pacific and Africa region,” Joe Hinrichs, who heads Ford’s operations in those regions, told.
“It certainly affirms the vital role that Thailand has and will continue to play as a global production and export base for Ford Motor Company,” he added.
The new assembly plant, spread across 750,000 square metre (8.07 million sq ft), will have an initial capacity of 150,000 units per year, and up to 85 per cent of its production will be markets outside Thailand.
It will be the first Ford plant in Thailand to be 100 per cent owned by the company.
“This is game-changing and significant for Ford. We are looking forward to developing a more successful relationship in Thailand,” said Peter Fleet, Ford’s president for the 10-country Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“Since 2006 we have invested over $3 billion to aggressively expand our operations and ensure that we are not just competing in this region but we are actually driving its growth,” he said.
Ford said the plant will create close to 11,000 new jobs.
“We do see a lot of potentials here for Ford to bring in more products to this market. We need additional capacity if we are going to bring more products to this market and, yes, Thailand is a critical production hub for our plan in the future,” Hinrichs said.