BANGKOK, Thailand, July 10, 2013 - Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC), Honda's automobile production and sales joint venture company in Thailand, today held a ceremony to mark the start of construction of its new automobile production plant (to be located within the Rojana Industrial Park in Prachinburi Province). The ceremony was attended by Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Japanese Ambassador to Thailand Shigekazu Sato as a guest of honor, as well as Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda.
With an investment of approximately 17.15 billion baht (approximately 54.9 billion yen*1), including acquisition of the land and construction, the new plant is scheduled to become operational in 2015, with annual production capacity of 120,000 units and initial employment of approximately 1,200 associates (excluding seasonal). HATC is planning to produce primarily small and sub-compact sized vehicles at the new plant, for which demand is increasing on a global basis. HATC will strive to establish a highly efficient production system at the new plant through various efforts including shortening of production processes and introduction of the latest production technologies in the painting and welding processes.
Furthermore, HATC is planning to make an additional investment in its existing plant in Ayutthaya to further increase the plant's annual production capacity from the current 280,000 units to 300,000 units in 2014, by extending the production line. Combined with the capacity of the new plant, HATC's total annual production capacity will be increased to 420,000 units in 2015.
Honda's automobile sales in Thailand for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 totaled 240,675 units, becoming the best-selling automobile brand in Thailand passenger car segment*2. Envisioning the continuous growth of the small car market in Thailand and exports to countries in ASEAN, Oceania, the Middle & Near East, Africa and the Caribbean, HATC will increase its production capacity while also enhancing its product lineup.
*1 Calculated with an exchange rate of 1 baht = 3.2 yen *2 Honda internal research
Comments by Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda:
Thailand has long been one of our key markets and an important R&D and production base for Honda in the Asia/Oceania region. Honda will continue to create high-quality automobiles that meet customer needs and to fulfill our strong environmental commitment to leave 'Blue Skies for Our Children' while continuing to grow our business along with the growing prosperity of Thailand.