To celebrate the new plant's opening, Thailand's Crown Princess, HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, will be joined by Japan Ambassador Kyoji Komachi, U.S. Ambassador Eric John, and senior executives from Mazda, Ford, and AAT in a formal ceremony in the afternoon at the new state-of-the-art facility in Rayong's Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate.
The completed passenger car plant increases the total annual production capacity at AAT to 275,000 units (including CKD units). The new plant will produce the Mazda2 and Ford Fiesta compact cars for sale in Thailand and export throughout the Asia-Pacific region. AAT already exports Mazda and Ford pickup trucks to more than 130 markets around the world.
"The new passenger car plant at AutoAlliance Thailand will play an important role as a production base in Mazda's global strategy. The new plant employs the industry's latest flexible manufacturing technologies, ensuring world-class quality, safety and environmental friendliness," said Masaharu Yamaki, executive vice president, Mazda Motor Corporation.
"AAT continues to be a global success story in terms of the superb cooperation between Mazda, Ford and AAT employees who constantly strive to achieve a shared vision of success. I have every confidence this teamwork will enable us to overcome the current market challenges and lead us to further business growth," added Yamaki.
The new, highly flexible passenger car plant utilizes the latest automotive manufacturing technologies and systems, including a new stamping line and body shop, trim and final process areas.
The completed paint shop can now accommodate both pickup trucks and passenger cars, and uses the environmentally-friendly Three Layer Wet Paint system, which dramatically reduces volatile organic compound (VOC) and CO2 emissions, and improves vehicle painting quality.
"The completion of the new AAT passenger car plant represents a tremendous achievement that is shared by all of our stakeholders – Ford, Mazda, the Thai government, and in particular, the Board of Investment, our suppliers, and certainly our dedicated AAT employees," said Kiyotaka Shobuda, president of AutoAlliance Thailand.
"The world-class passenger cars we'll produce will further solidify AAT's continued role in both Mazda and Ford's global strategy, and supports the further expansion and growth of Thailand's auto industry and its leading role in the ASEAN region as a global automotive production hub," added Shobuda.