Honda set for B20bn expansion

New Prachin Buri plant will create 2,500 jobs

Roberto Scaramuzza - Linkedin profile

Roberto Scaramuzza – Linkedin profile

Honda Automobile (Thailand) will invest more than 20 billion baht to build a new assembly plant and expand its existing facility to tap strong domestic demand and exports.

About 17.2 billion baht will be used to build the assembly and engine plant in Prachin Buri province.

The factory, to be located in Rojana Industrial Park, will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 cars. Construction will start in July, with operations due to launch in 2015.

Company president Hiroshi Kobayashi said the factory will produce mainly small and subcompact vehicles in response to growing global demand.

“Honda plans to make the new assembly plant the company’s most advanced manufacturing facility in Asia and Oceania,” he said.

“It will follow the advanced manufacturing innovations now being introduced at Honda’s new Yorii assembly plant in Japan. They include shorter and greener production processes for welding, painting and assembling automobiles that offer the highest levels of efficiency.”

The new plant will also mark the next level of advancement with reduced carbon dioxide emissions and the use of recycled water in all production processes, he said.

“As we envision continuous growth of the subcompact car market in Thailand and more exports to countries in Asean, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and other countries, Honda will increase its production capacity while also enhancing its product line-up,” said Mr Kobayashi.

The new factory will initially employ about 2,500 workers.

The Thai unit of Japan’s third-largest car maker will also spend 2.03 billion baht to increase its Ayutthaya plant’s annual production capacity to 300,000 units by early next year.

Honda recently spent 880 million baht in the first phase of the plant’s expansion.

Its annual production capacity had increased to 280,000 units as of the end of last month from 240,000 before.

The second phase of the expansion will start in April.

The Ayutthaya plant’s expansion, combined with the capacity of the new Prachin Buri plant, will increase Honda’s annual production capacity in Thailand to 420,000 vehicles in 2015.

Pitak Pruittisarikorn, an executive vice-president, said Honda will launch at least 10 models this year, equal to last year.

Honda has set a sales target for Thailand this year of 200,000 vehicles, up by 16.8% from 171,208 last year.