AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Ford opens new US$450 million plant in Thailand

Ford opens new US$450 million plant in Thailand image

Text: / Photos: | posted May 08, 2012 12:39

Focus on growth

Ford Motor Company recently opened Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) for operations. The new, US$450 million facility in Rayong, Thailand will be the production home of the ASEAN Ford Focus.

Minister of Industry, M.R. Pongsvas Svasti, Thailand Board of Investment Secretary-General, Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney (the former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines), were among the dignitaries and guests that joined Ford executives and employees at the new 200,000 square meter plant in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate.

“The opening of this new, world-class facility is the latest example in our aggressive growth plan for this region, which represents Ford’s largest industrial expansion in half-a-century,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “The world-class One Ford vehicles produced here will be part of our plan to launch 50 new vehicles and powertrains in Asia Pacific and Africa by mid-decade.”

The new Thailand facility is fully integrated to support stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly, and is equipped with state-of-the-art automation that showcases Ford's global manufacturing processes and systems.

Thailand is a key production and export hub for the Ford Motor Company. Locally sold vehicles such as the Ranger, Everest and Fiesta are exported from Thailand. With the opening of the new plant, the Philippines will be receiving the all new Focus from there as well.

“No other automotive manufacturer has invested more in Thailand over the last five years than Ford Motor Company. We are clearly here for the long-run,” said Peter Fleet, president, Ford ASEAN.

The future of the Ford Group Philippines Plant?

With the opening of Ford Thailand Manufacturing, the future of the Ford Group Philippines plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna remains uncertain.

In the past, the Santa Rosa plant has produced the Focus, the Mazda3 and Escape. With the production of the Mazda3 and the Focus shifting elsewhere, only the Escape will remain, having been in production since the early 2000s.